Archbishop Lwanga spy Threats are Exaggerated

By Obed K Katureebe
By Obed K Katureebe
The Archbishop of Kampala Diocese His Grace Dr Cyprian Lwanga has made headlines since Easter weekend. His unsubstantiated allegations that some unanimous caller had informed him that government had deployed spies in his church to spy on him have since generated uncalled for nervousness both in church and the general public. While delivering Easter sermons in Rubaga Cathedral, Lwanga went all the way to castigate president Museveni to stop listening and receiving rumours from his intelligence organs about him.
 “I was told that Government has recruited spies within the church and they have been given a lot of money- I was told that the spies have reported back that I want to overthrow Government………But I have one message for you Mr President, those people are your enemies …You people in ISO, CMI, Police, stop telling the president lies, Mr president your mind is being poisoned and you are acting on that,” Lwanga is quoted to have cried out.  
The implication of Lwanga’s outburst is that government now thinks of him as an enemy of the state simply because he at times speaks out his strong views against government on issues of governance and policy.
Lwanga’s castigation to the person of the president on an issue that he got through anonymous caller is to panicky to needless levels. To have said the president believes all rumours taken to him was blackmail to say the least. Archbishop Lwanga is a senior citizen and I believe with a fair knowledge of how intelligence bodies in this country work. There are standard procedures of collecting, analyzing and managing intelligence materials. For any kind of information to reach the person of the president it must be subjected to professional standards of vigorous scrutiny and analysis.
 Uganda is full of con men/woman and other wrong elements that thrive on taking advantage after confusing their unsuspecting and gullible victims. Nobody is saying that Archbishop Lwanga should have ignored the information given to him. However, he should have engaged the relevant people including the president since he has quick access to them before alarming the public on unsubstantiated allegations. It was also wrong for Lwanga to publically indict his president and the security organs that have professionally secured Ugandans over this period of time. If Lwanga thinks Police, ISO, CMI are such incompetent and usdeless organs that feed the president on wrong information, I wonder therefore which institutions the president should use to guarantee Lwanga’s total security including identifying the anonymous source if he or she was acting in good faith. 
In 1992, Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala was attacked by a terrorist and he took him hostage for hours until he was rescued by government security services. The good cardinal didn’t not run to the pulpit to cry foul and castigate government and the president for not doing enough to protect him.
Wrong elements exist within us as society. Indeed attempts have been directed to those that are holding big positions in society.  The first attempted assassination was on Pope John Paul II on Wednesday, 13 May 1981, in St. Peter's Square at Vatican City. The Pope was shot and wounded by Mehmet Ali a while he was entering the square. The Pope was struck four times, and suffered severe blood loss. The criminal Ali was apprehended immediately.
The crook that attempted to attack Bishop Kityo Luwayila of Namirembe Cathedral during Easter Sunday is such of the kind. Thank God he was arrested and he will answer why he attempted such criminal  activity on the man of God. In fact Bishop Kityo challenged to return to the same alter this time not to attack him but to repent.    So Archbishop Lwanga should know that criminals might target him but the best way to counter their evil agenda is to work with government security organs to neutralize them.  
In the subsequent interviews, Archbishop Lwanga seem to insinuate  that his life is in danger simply because he and some few other church leaders have held strong views against the sitting government.  That is not true. For the record, there are so many church leaders that have expressed strong opinions on the current government but have never been harassed in anyway. The archbishop of northern Uganda His Grace John Baptist Ondama has for many years been outspoken on some government positions but he has lived peacefully doing his pastoral duties. Retired Bishops Zac Niringiye and Macleods Ochola have voiced strong opinions against government and have lived their lives unbothered. Government has listened to their views and indeed acted on those that are tenable but has disagreed with them on those that might not be acceptable.
Therefore, the outburst in the public media that archbishop Lwanga chose to use only generate unnecessary anxiety and wild speculations that benefits nobody. On the contraly, His Grace Lwanga should enhance confidence building mechanisms with our security organs because no one else will guarantee his security.  Otherwise, Lwanga’s continued life threatening allegations before the media and name -calling of our security organizations will be misconstrued to total blackmail of government and his president who ironically was appealing to for help.  
Finally, President Museveni has never been threatened or even showed displeasure to people with different opinions on matters of governance. Engagement and listening are his known traits. In fact, those with ungrounded ideas that are opposed to him dodge interfacing with him because they very much know that he will win them over to his side.