By Ronald Kabuye
The minister for ethic and integrity Rev. Father Simon Lokodo has said that there is no policy yet in place to regulate religious institution as being reported in the media and in some churches.
Father Lokodo said his ministry is only responding to the public anxiety and outcry of instituting a policy and a law that is inclusive and comprehensive enough to address the challenges in the religious faith-based organizations.
This he revealed while meeting various religions under the umbrella of Christian Ecumenical Council of Uganda CECU, that is chaired by the Bishop for the Evangelical Orthodox Church EOC that subscribes to the Eastern Catholic Rite Jacinto Kibuuka.
Father Lokodo who rated CECU has the best religious group with a highest level of organization and presentation, he assured them that the yet to be formulated Religious Faith Based Organization policy is not intended to outlaw some churches but rather regulate them.
He said that main aim of policy is to ensure proper coordination, unity in diversity, transparency, accountability and a harmonious management of society in faith-based organisations since its government’s role to put in place norms and guidelines that must be followed by the clergy and society.
The minister assured the various religious sect that they are all equal before the law, allaying fears of suppression by the “traditional religions” in the yet to be developed Religious Faith Based Organizations Policy.
Presenting their proposals and observations to the Ethic and Integrity Minister and his delegation, the charismatic Bishop Jacinto Kibuuka called for more time for wider, all-inclusive consultation on the policy so that no sect of religious leaders is left out or suppressed by the “traditional churches” or the policy since it may result into chaos and confusion.
CECU is also of the view that stakeholders most own the policy, guide it, see its implementation through a national body that will encompass all national religious leaders or bodies and government only be left with the supervisory role.
According to the consultative policy document, a number of stakeholders including the Anglican church, Roman Catholic church, elder’s forum, Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, judges, Members of Parliament and the Orthodox Church among others had been consulted but the Christian Ecumenical Council of Uganda had been left out.
The religions under CECU include Evangelical Orthodox Church EOC, Orthodox Anglican Church OAC, World Wide Anglican Church WAC, Charismatic Episcopal Church CEC, Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church CAB, Universal Peace Federation UPF and Anglo Catholic Church ACC.