President Yoweri Museveni has urged faith-based groups in the country to join the government in efforts and campaign to sensitize communities in wealth creation to eradicate household poverty.
Mr Museveni explained that for a long time, Christians have misinterpreted the parable found in Luke 16:19-31 in which a certain rich man died and went to hell while a poor man (Lazarus) went to heaven.
The president urged religious leaders to help their flock understand the parable, saying that the rich man did not go to hell because of his wealth.
Mr Museveni noted that people should create wealth but use it well, adding that the mentality that 'we are visitors on earth' should be abandoned.
He noted that while people eventually die, they have an obligation to subdue nature and improve it.
“I am glad that more Christians are waking up to understand how to eradicate poverty at the household level. What you gain should be from your sweat. It is a Biblical obligation. I am happy I have Pastors, like Jackson Senyonga, as my disciples in the nationwide campaign for wealth creation. Like the Biblical story of the seeds’ sower on different types of soil, Pastor Senyonga is one of the seeds that were sown and flourished in my campaign message on wealth creation. I encourage him to continue the campaign,” he said.
The President was today addressing a congregation at Makerere-Kavule Christain Life Church, during which he officiated at the inaugural ceremony of Pastors Jackson and Eva Senyonga commissioning of regional and district coordinators to initiate them in the national campaign of church involvement to eradicate poverty.
The Christian Life Church campaign launch today kicked off with Shs.140 million that was distributed by the church to regional coordinators, with each of them receiving Shs.10 million cash to start the mobilisation against poverty with the help of Church mobilizers in districts in the country.
Mr. Museveni challenged a fully parked church gathering of over 16,000 to be totally inspired and appreciate Uganda’s unique agricultural endowment and conducive climate of two or more production seasons in a year and resolve to fight poverty without necessarily applying irrigation.
“I thank Pastor Senyonga as one of the leaders in the Born Again Churches in Uganda for correctly recognizing that a Pastor must be an example in the fight against poverty in his own home before embarking on evangelization of the gospel. I totally support the project.”
Regarding the issue of criminality, the President said that criminals, wherever they may be hiding, will be defeated adding that government is modernising anti-crime infrastructure. He noted that the infrastructure so far established has produced positive results with the help of CCTV cameras as evidenced in the case of recent kidnappings and killings.
“All we need is for everyone to be vigilant to provide the necessary information on crime incidences to the Police,” he said.
Pastor Jackson Senyonga revealed that the launch of the anti-poverty campaign was a culmination of the 6-month research by his church that a big population in the country still lives in abject poverty and needed sensitization and financial empowerment.
“What the church is doing now is 10% of the President’s contribution but silence is not an option,”, he observed.
He announced that the next phase in fighting against poverty would be tailored to ensure that factory establishments, big or small, would be the way to go especially in agro-processing.