The National Fellowship of Born-Again Pentecostal Churches has suggested that the government should consider establishing a pension scheme for pastors and Imams. They believe that this would provide a dignified retirement for these religious leaders.
Pentecostal Bishop Dr. Patrick Musoke, from the Agape Outreach Church based in Makerere, Kampala, mentioned that they plan to petition all churches and mosques under the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda. Their aim is to encourage the government to enroll employed church servants in a pension program so they can access financial support upon retiring.
Musoke made these remarks during the launch of church empowerment initiatives at the Law Development Centre (LDC) grounds in Makerere, Kampala, during the consecration of religious overseers for the Kampala region.
Why is this proposal being made?
“I went to the Uganda Regulatory Benefits Authority demanding that all pastors and Imams be enrolled as public servants in this country because we have done a lot to shape the present and the future of this country since 1962 when Uganda gained independence from the British,” he said.
Musoke highlighted the significant contributions of religious institutions in constructing the first schools, hospitals, banks, and other infrastructure in Uganda. Despite these contributions, when religious leaders retire from their service, they often struggle with poverty and lack the necessary support.
In the Kampala region alone, there are over 1,000 churches under the National Fellowship of Born-Again Pentecostal Churches employing more than 10,000 church leaders and roadside preachers. These individuals have limited opportunities to engage in economic activities to support their families.
Engaging in government programs
Hajjat Minsa Kabanda, the Kampala affairs minister, who was the guest of honor at the event, urged religious leaders to actively participate in government initiatives aimed at alleviating household poverty.
“Churches and Mosques should create professional think tanks who can sensitize believers and church leaders to engage in economic activities to educate their children and support their families,” she said.
Kabanda encouraged religious leaders to take advantage of government programs such as Emyooga, Parish Development Model (PDM), Youth Livelihood Fund, and National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS).
“Such programs will teach you how to save because there is nobody who has ever been rich in life without any capital or skill to start a business,” she emphasized.
She also encouraged religious groups to come together and request vocational centers promised by President Yoweri Museveni. These centers are designed to provide employable skills to both educated and uneducated youth attending churches or mosques.
“Let us be Christians or Muslims who work for the development of our areas to address the challenges of poverty that are affecting our families,” Kabanda added.
During the event, outstanding pastors who had played pivotal roles in establishing born-again churches, such as Apostle Jackson Ssenyonga, Bishop David Kiganda, Apostle John Bunjo, and Bishop Godfrey Luwagga, were recognized and rewarded with gifts.
Disclaimer: The Ankole Times extends its sincere apologies for the inadvertent use of an incorrect photo of Dr. Wanders Richmond in the story above. We are pleased to inform our readers that this issue has been promptly rectified.