The followers of Bishop Charles Oode Okunya, who broke away from Church of Uganda Kumi Diocese to the Reformed Anglican Church (RAC), have accused police of torture aimed at denying them the freedom to worship under their new faith.
The accusation came after one of their followers, Mr John Michael Opade, was allegedly tortured by police at Olimai Village, Kanyum Sub-county in Kumi District on Sunday before being dumped at Kumi Health Centre IV.
Ms Dina Atude, Mr Opade’s mother, says that by the time she arrived at Olimai Church on Sunday where Bishop Okunya was meant to baptise and confirm some Christians, she found that her son had already been beaten and his whereabouts were unknown.
Ms Atude said when she reached the health facility, they were referred to Ongino Hospital, where it was discovered that her son’s spinal cord was severely injured.
Mr Joseph Onange, one of the leaders of the Reformed Anglican Church, said police in Kumi should be investigated.
He accused the Kumi diocese of training a militia group under the pretence of patriotism to fight their worship sessions across Kumi and Bukedea.
However, the East Kyoga regional police spokesperson, Mr Moses Mwanga, said he could not verify the claims against his officers.
Mr Mwanga advised the aggrieved to report the issue to the police’s Professional Standard Unit for further disciplinary action.
He attributed the arrest of the 30 suspects to the rift between the Church of Uganda Kumi Diocese and the Reformed Anglican Church.
However, the spokesperson for Kumi Diocese, Mr Jonathan Maraka, said they have not trained any militia to terrorize their opponents, adding that it is the government that has the mandate to train and recruit an army not the Church.
He said the group of people mistaken for militia were trained on matters of patriotism.
About 1,000 Anglican priests were passed out in Ngora District last week on invitation of Kumi Diocese.
Brig Gen Patrick Mwesigye, the commissioner for patriotism in the Office of the President, who passed out the group, said they were equipped for social and economic transformation.