There was drama at Christ the King Church in Kampala today afternoon after Police attempted to block the routine lunch-time mass under the guise that it would interfere with traffic.
Police deployed around church located along Colville street after rumours spread that opposition political party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leaders led by Dr Kizza Besigye were on their way to attend prayers at the church ahead of his ‘swearing in’ as the ‘people's president’. Besigye managed to beat a 24-hour police surveillance, surprising security when pictures of him waving to his supporters in downtown Kampala went viral on social media.
Police rushed to Christ the King church and officers started screening all those who turned up for the prayers but they were immediately stopped by the church leaders led by Monsignor Gerald Kalumba, the Parish Priest of the church.
He explained to the officers led by Andrew Kaggwa, the Kampala South Regional Police Commander (RPC), that the church has been holding the lunch-time prayers even before deputy Chief Justice Steven Kavuma issued a ban on the FDC defiance campaign that included weekly Tuesday prayers.
He said attempts by Police to block the prayers ‘would go against God’. Despite the fact that Police retreated from the church, Monsignor Kalumba expressed his apparent disgust.
Addressing the congregation moments later, Kalumba said they will not stop prayers at the church just because of an order from court or police, saying God is above everything.
"They are not interested in the church but they will be interested in destroying the church. Let us pray for ourselves, we should have a different Uganda…where there is truth there is no need of panicking, therefore be alert. You are not here for anything else but for prayer. I know there are some security people in this church because they came to see me and I told them we come here for prayer and nothing else. So don’t be nervous, we are here for prayer”, Kalumba told the Catholic faithfuls.
Kalumba said during the swearing in of President Yoweri Museveni on Thursday they will only hold the early morning prayers. None of the FDC party leaders showed up at the church for the prayers as had been rumored. Museveni will be sworn as Uganda president for a fifth elective term having been declared winner of the controversial February general elections by the Electoral Commission.
Meanwhile, police also deployed heavily at Rock International Ministries, which is led by Pastor Happy David Ngabo who shot to the limelight for leading the weekly prayers at the FDC headquarters in Najjanankumbi.
Deputy police spokesperson, Polly Namaye said that they deployed at the church on suspicion that the party supporter would sneak into the church as part of the banned defiance campaigns.
FDC, later released a suspicious video of the what they called Besigye's swearing in as the people's president. The video appeared to have been produced earlier and pieced together with earlier footage from a different event.