site thumb http://ddmdevelopment.com/wp-includes/feed.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>Led by Rubanda Catholic Parish Priest, http://danielborda.net/wp-includes/rss.php Rev. Fr. Thomas Batima, the men of God exploited the huge presence of believers on June 3 to castigate Banyenzaki whom they accused of dictatorship.
This followed reports that Banyenzaki told a gathering of NRM leaders in Kabale that Priests should stop avoid political talk and concentrate on preaching the word of God and leading His flock.
Batima said “it is unfortunate that government leaders who should be examples for the people they lead are the ones suffocating freedom of expression and blocking religious leaders from doing their work.”
Earlier, the outspoken Kigezi Inter-religious council Chairperson Rev. Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda said the Minister must make a public apology for reportedly attacking religious leaders.
The priests’ outrage, if not contained, could negatively impact on Banyenzaki’s political fortunes during the 2016 MP elections in Rubanda County West Constituency.
Former Agriculture Minister, Hope Mwesigye, lost the Kabale MP seat after a quarrel with the Catholic Church.
She reportedly told off a priest to find a woman to make him comfortable, triggering a heavy backlash from the church that later saw her little-known rival, Rhona Ninsiima emerge victorious in the 2011 polls.
During the National Resistance Movement mobilization and sensitization Meetings, Banyenzaki allegedly accused Kigezi religious leaders of trying to shape political rhetoric in the region.
Banyenzaki purportedly said priests were busy decampaigning government programs instead of focusing on preaching the gospel.
Banyenzaki speaks out
However, speaking to Chimpreports on Thursday, the Minister denied having made such derogatory remarks.
“This is just propaganda by those who want to blackmail me.”
Banyenzaki said he had no reason to attack priests, insisting he is a staunch Catholic “who has for long worked for the church and I am still doing the same.”
The Minister stressed the allegations are aimed at driving a wedge between him and the church and that such talk “will not deter me from pursuing my political ambitions.”