By Paul Watala
North Mbale Diocese Bishop Samuel Gidudu has pledged to organize special prayers for peaceful elections in Sironko and Bulambuli districts.
Addressing residents in Mafudu village in Sironko recently, Gidudu said Sironko and Bulambuli districts are known for violent and chaotic elections and need prayers for peace to prevail.He said there was hatred amongst candidates to the extent that some do not greet each other.
"We shall be calling upon all the candidates to come with their supporters and attend special prayers together. We need to pray against rebellion," Gidudu said.
Energy minister Irene Muloni who is contesting for the Bulambuli Woman MP seat welcomed the initiative saying she would focus on roads and fighting poverty among household. Her rival Sarah Wekomba, an independent candidate also pledged to fight poverty and look for better markets for residents' coffee.
Gidudu said that politicians are not chosen for status but they are chosen for service delivery, adding that they should seek church interventions before contesting for any post in leadership.
The Bishop also added that leaders are judged according to the content of their delivery and not party colours. He however did not disclose when and where the prayers will be held.
He challenged the candidates not to fight against each other, saying the recent NRM party primaries left scores nursing injuries and that church is mandated to criticize bad leadership, corruption, call for peaceful elections and also encourage communities to work hard to eradicate poverty in their households.
"Church should blow the trumpet for leaders to respect national resources, fight bad morals in communities, organize free and fair elections and avoid bribery of voters," Gidudu said.
He also urged government to take center stage in the fight against high levels of poverty, ignorance among the communities and early girl child marriages.
Francis Nabende a resident also said “The recently concluded NRM primaries were chaotic and can serve as a sign that the coming elections may not be peaceful, so we need to pray for peace to prevail".
Nabende said politicians in Bulambuli and Sironko had started ferrying hooligans to Mbale town with an aim of interrupting the electoral process.
Mzee John Gizamba 72, another resident appealed to all candidates not to incite their supporters to cause havoc during campaigns.
“We now call upon our religious leaders to intervene by holding special prayers where all the candidates will be counseled so that we can go through this exercise peacefully,” Gizamba said.