One person is nursing injuries at Lira Regional Referral Hospital following a clash among Christians at Yahweh Pentecostal Church Kakoge in Lira City West Division.
The unidentified male is part of a group of individuals who forcibly entered the church on Wednesday morning, demanding the keys.
The group overwhelmed the guard and gained access to the premises. However, upon learning of the situation, other churchgoers mobilized to aid the guard, leading to a physical altercation.
Benson Ekinu, the church guard, recounted that more than 10 people attacked him in the morning, taking the church keys and his mobile phone by force. He mentioned that the injured person was the ringleader who remained behind when the others fled.
Patrick Jimmy Okema, the North Kyoga Police Spokesperson, confirmed the incident, linking it to an ongoing property dispute between PAG Mission Uganda and Yahweh Pentecostal Mission.
He clarified that although the police were notified promptly, the suspects had left the scene by the time they arrived.
He also refuted claims that someone had died during the altercation, stating that the police only found an unconscious man who is now receiving treatment at the hospital.
According to Okema, the conflict between PAG and Yahweh Pentecostal Mission is a significant issue that could escalate if not resolved soon. He expressed concern that
By Wednesday afternoon, the police had a heavy presence at the church, which was filled with Christians from within and outside the boundaries of Lira City.
Benson Ongom, a Kakoge resident, accused the police of siding with the elite to displace local people, particularly in property disputes involving PAG Uganda and Yahweh Pentecostal Mission.
“It is sad to see state institutions like Uganda Police Force being used by a company called PAG Ltd to evict thousands of Christians from their hard-earned properties like churches and land yet some of these churches are hosted in the individual’s land never sold to anybody, some gifted not purchased and those lands purchased have agreements in their church names!” he said.
He added, “I wonder why the Government would ignore its people at this time when Christians need them most and choose to either keep quiet on their plight or side with PAG Ltd through its corrupt officers.” For over seven years, PAG Mission Uganda Limited has been embroiled in a property dispute with Yahweh Pentecostal Mission (formerly PAG Lira Ltd).
This dispute began when the latter broke away following the termination of the service of Lira Pastorate Bishop Joel Mukalo in 2013. In 2015, PAG Uganda took legal action to prevent the use of a similar name and demanded that PAG Lira Ltd hand over all properties, including churches, but this was not complied with, leading to ongoing conflicts.