By Christine Awor
Lira – 3, November 2021: Church leaders have appealed to security to sensitize Houses of God and the parishioners on explosives, especially on how to keep safe from possible dangers.
Their plea comes at the backdrop of two separate explosions in recent weeks last month, and prior incidences.
Late last month two people died after explosions in Kampala and along the way inside a traveling bus heading to Western Uganda.
On Monday 1, November, Lira Resident City Commissioner (RCC) Lawrence Egole while addressing members of the press appealed to church leaders to ensure they are very vigilant and take all security measures to ensure the safety of worshipers.
Egole asked all places of worship to at least endeavor to have surveillance cameras for easy tracking of any domestic terror.
TND News’ Awor interacted with some religious leaders to ascertain what measures they are taking to ensure safety in their various places of worship.
Fr. Lawrence Opio of Lira Cathedral parish said, “As a church, we have taken measures by purchasing metal detecting machine, having CCTV cameras and on Sundays we normally use one door to ensure everyone is thoroughly checked.”
“We have put everything in place to ensure safety of our worshipers; we are also just using one door to ensure we check each and everyone,” he added with emphasis.
Fr .Opio further appealed to the entire public to take caution about Covid-19 because it is still on the rise. As per the November 1, results for Lira city, 137 people tested positive.
“People who are coming to church without face mask, we are sending them back to pray from home,” he told TND News.
Pastor Abbey Kiboma of Zion Church says their ushers are deployed everywhere in the church to identify suspicious elements, and also they have the metal detecting machines used for tracking explosives.
“As a Church, we are not relaxing, we are even planning to purchase more metal tracking machines to ensure full security,” he told us.
On the other hand, the Vicar of St Augustine Church of Uganda in Barogole, Rev. Venable James Okaka said as a church, they have the church task force and well trained youth that always help in using the tracking machines to ensure security.
“We are still appealing to security to come up and help teach our ushers with how to operate the machine because some people might not know how to use,” he said.
He, however, appeals to any willing body or any organization that can support them with more metal detecting machines, adding, “Because at the moment we have only two yet the church has a big population.”
Rev. James Ogema of Victory Outreach Ministries pleaded that the security should sensitize the worshipers about explosives, how to keep safe and how to identify explosives because not everyone can know how they look like.
He further appealed to churches that cannot afford to purchase CCTV cameras to just ensure they have enough human resource to always keep their eyes on ground.
“Churches and places of worship that cannot afford to purchase CCTV cameras should not panic because not everyone will afford, they can simply deploy many ushers to keep moving around the church to inspect any suspicious elements,” he further reiterated.
Early this week, Uganda police spokesperson Fred Enanga said that during a joint security operation, they were able to arrest at least 48 suspects highly linked to acts of terror.
He added the suspects are linked to the recent bomb blast in Kampala which left one person dead and four others seriously injured.
The October 23 explosion at a pork joint in Komamboga, a northern suburb of Uganda’s Capital Kampala, which police described as “an act of domestic terror” later saw Islamic State (IS) coming out to take responsibility.
That blast left a waitress identified as Emily Nyinaneza dead.