HOIMA - Following a video that has since made rounds on social media of a man of God who is seen whipping his flock with a claimed ‘’ holy cane’’ during a Sunday service in Empowerment Church in Hoima sparked public attention by describing the act as being barbaric and demanding for his arrest.
In the video, a man holding a lash could be overheard summoning a number of the faithful flock towards the altar and ordering them to lie down administering swishing lashes on them one after the other, whipping some more times than the rest.
The man of God identified as Kintu Denis together with some of his followers were on Wednesday 31st, august arrested by security together with three holy sticks as exhibits and appeared in court on Thursday 1st, September 2022 where they were put on trial before the magistrate court in Hoima where 17 charges related to trafficking, assault, and sectarianism were preferred against them.
The prosecution submitted that the accused on the same Sunday assaulted one Kevin Mugisa for abuse of power of rituals while Doreen Aganyira and James Mugisa were respectively kept for extortion purposes and harmful rituals but Mr. Kintu denied the charges.
"Upon interrogation, he told the committee that what he did was only a demonstration of how Jesus treated those he found selling goods in church,” he added.
The alleged crime, according to victims and witnesses, was in the words of Mr. Kintu's incompetence and late-coming that court already outlawed corporal punishment in Uganda.
It was also discovered that Kintu was running the church without authority from Uganda Registration Standards Bureau or the Hoima City authorities.
In a part of the video, he is Kintu is heard assuring the followers he was caning that he had warned them he was not from Bunyoro, the region where the church is located, a proclamation which in court yesterday attracted charges of “promoting sectarianism” against Mr. Kintu where some subjects of Bunyoro Kingdom took issue with the alleged tribal reference.
The team was later remanded to Kiryatete government prison Grade One Magistrate Elijah Iradukunda remanded him to Kiryatete government prison on grounds that he lacked jurisdiction where they will be until September 7, 2022.
According to a statement by the Albertine Regional Police spokesperson, Julius Hakiza, following public outrage over the content of the video, Kintu was called by the Hoima Resident District Commissioner Badru Mugabi to answer for his conduct.
“The events attracted public concern about how the self-proclaimed “man of God” conducted himself. He was summoned by the district security committee headed by the Resident City Commissioner Badru Mugabi," Hakiza added in a statement.