KAMPALA- Former Coordinator of the military intelligence, David Sejusa has warned the Church against collaboration with the State, saying the move may end up driving Christians from God’s sanctuary.
General Sejusa’s threats came through a tweet he posted in response to a heated debate of following a proposal by the Catholic Church to start deducting the 10% tithe from Government workers’ salaries.
Recently, Cyprian Lwanga, the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese caused public stir when he announced that the Catholic Church in Uganda is considering compelling the Central Government to embark on the compulsory deduction of the 10% tithe from their monthly salaries from Catholic faiths.
Lwanga made the remarks while addressing congregants at Lubaga Cathedral, where he raised concerns over the failure by many Catholics, who have been found of ‘cheating’ God by abdicating their religious role to pay the tithe, saying this has slowed pace at which the Church carries out its work.
In his summon, Lwanga was quoted saying that some Catholics lie to God that they pay church tithe off their monthly salaries and at the time of mass, Catholics just pick whatever they get from their pockets and give in yet the tithe the Bible stipulates is 10% of their monthly salary.
He furthered his argument by citing an example in Germany where the Government takes the responsibility of collecting the church’s monthly tithe from salaries and hands it to respective Catholic Church leaders.
Lwanga’s proposal was met with a lot of public criticism and saw one guest on NTV Men who goes by the names Pyepar Faisal who remarked that, “The church will one day ask the state to enforce Sunday service mass attendance. It has started with tithe.”
Sejusa responded to the tweet noting, “As in Europe. He quotes Germany which levies 9% of annual income tax. The result, Last year alone, Shs700,000 Catholics left the church! Actually, 600 Catholic churches have closed! Collaborate with the state at own peril.”
The General’s remarks come at a time when President Yoweri Museveni pledged Shs500M to support the construction of All Saints Cathedral on Sunday and handed the church leadership Shs50M cash pending completion of the balance.
However, Lwanga isn’t the first man of God to find himself in the eye of the storm over tithe remarks.
In February 2018, Pastor Robert Kayanja of the Rubaga Miracle Center Cathedral asked President Yoweri Museveni to consider allocating 10% of government’s annual budget to the Church as a tithe offering to God saying this would be critical at putting an end to the country’s perennial dependence on other countries and world bodies for development.
The controversial Pastor went further asking to have the 10% national budget be placed in the hands of President Museveni to hand it to the Church, “because he is a believer and most trusted in the country to carry out the biblical duties.
“There is a blessing that comes to people when they tithe. Israel has survived on that. You (Museveni) have given much, such as cars to bishops, you have financed many church projects and…you have opened up more churches than any other president. But now there is much more when resources are given to any leader for the purposes of God. Our 10% as a nation if given to God, the remaining 90% will do much more,” Kayanja said at the time.
The 2018/2019 national budget is worth Shs32,567.4Trn and if Government was to take up the advice of Kayanja, that would require it to set aside about Shs3.2Bn and with Works and Transport sector having walked away with Shs4.7Trn, their budget accounted for 16% of the budget.
This would mean that the church would earn more money from Government compared to critically funded sectors like; Education Shs2,776.53 trillion, Health Shs1.714,26, Security Shs1,353,10 trillion and Energy Shs2,575,83 trillion.