The controversial pastor in Hoima City filmed whipping his followers has been arraigned before court and slapped with 17 charges, including assault and human rights abuse.
Prophet Denis Kintu was on Thursday, 01 September 2022 arraigned before Hoima Grade One magistrates court where the charges were read to him. He denied them but did not ask for bail. He was then remanded to prison until September 7.
Meanwhile, police with the support of the Hoima District Resident City Commissioner Badru Mugabi on Thursday went to Holy Empowerment Church which is owned by the pastor and found more sticks, which he was using to cane the followers, as part of their evidence in the investigations.
The Public Relations Officers of Albertine Region Police Julius Allan Hakiza said Kintu told investigators that he lashed the church members to demonstrate “how Jesus treated those he found selling goods in church.”
The events have attracted public concern.
The RDC and his security committee also established that the church is operating illegally without clear documents from the City Authority or Uganda Registration Standards Bureau.
According to the statement, the prophet was arrested with four other members of the church. They are Mugisha James, Mbabazi Stella, Tusiime Twaha and Nsiimwe Bila.
However, some of those arrested refused to bring charges against the accused, saying they were beaten out of their own free will.
Police urged the Uganda Human Rights Commission to pick interest in the conduct of such self-proclaimed prophets who are abusing the right to serve God.
Unregulated religion has offered breeding grounds for cults such as Joseph Kibwetere’s where the latter and his acolytes on March 17, 2000 locked believers in a church in Kanungu District that was incinerated in a fire, resulting in the death of more than 700 people.
Government in 2020 announced that it was drafting a policy to regulate religion.
Religion, according to those behind the policy, has played a role in fanning rebellions, including the Allied Democratic Forces, an offshoot of the Tabliq sect, which waged a war against Uganda in the late 1990s in an attempt to impose sharia law.
Mr Yusuf Sserunkuma, a researcher, says there is general concern in the public about the unethical conduct of pastors that has given the regime a basis to regulate churches.