By APN Reporter
The state minister for housing Dr.Chris Baryomunsi has come under fire from the Christians of Rutenga catholic parish in Kanungu district over 19.4 million shillings.
The money in question was reportedly grabbed from the parish headquarters when security operatives attached to the minister raided the parish and picked the money in question in addition to arresting the area parish priest Rev.Fr.Andrew Tumukurate.
The operatives raided the parish on the 2nd of September 2020 accusing the priest of de-campaigning the minister and hosting planning meetings for his rivals.
A total of 12 million belonged to Rutenga catholic church Savings and credit cooperative organization while the balance was for the parish.
Theminister is also implicated in scandals which include an attack on Rev.Herbert Kiconco, the Kinkizi Diocesan cashier, Abdallah Nzigira the chairperson of the Muslim supreme council for Kanungu and Rukungiri district among others.
On the 2nd September, during the raid on the parish by operatives who were traveling in a vehicle belonging to his wife Fosca Baryomunsi registration number UBD340R first purported to have been sent by president Museveni to back up the minister before forcefully entering the priest’s residence where they messed up the entire house and also gained access to his bedroom.
The operatives are also accused of sacrilegiously mishandling sacred objects among them, the monstrance used in the Catholic church during the time of benediction. It is where the blessed sacrament is kept. It has a transparent container in which the consecrated Host is exposed for adoration.
Rev. Fr. Andrew Tumukurate the Parish Priest of Rutenga Catholic Parish in Kanungu was kidnapped by the group who tortured him at Kanungu resort hotel also owned by Dr.Chris Baryomunsi and later dumped him at Kanungu Police Station.
Fr Tumukurate says the assailants found him attending to members of Rutenga Catholic Church Sacco and bundled him into the car and drove off.
Now the Christians says that they have tagged their vote on their money. The Christians say that the minister has decided to always deny the allegations instead of ensuring that their money is refunded and he apologizes for his actions.
Mariko Twinomujuni a Christian from Rutenga parish says that they are disappointed by the failure by the minister to clean his past and move. He says that they have no business with the minister and will not vote for him.
Elias Mugyenyi the district councilor for Rutenga sub county says that the SACCO which started way back in 2015 as a local savings group was registered as a SACCO in June 2016 and had a total of 321.
He says that the SACCO was being hosted by the parish since they were still small and not yet able to have their own offices.
Mugyenyi says that it is however unfortunate that the savings of the members were stolen and the most unfortunate part being that it was on the orders of the minister who went ahead to torture the parish priest.
Lodoviko Bagazonzya another concerned resident of Rutenga says that the members have waited for the minister to refund their money and only for him to make a promise that he will refund only half of it saying that he was just being sympathetic claiming that the raid on the parish was carried out by hooligans and not him.
Sarafinah Tugume another Christians says that the members of the SACCO who also double as Christians in the same area are disappointed by the actions of the minister.
She says that even if the priest had campaigned against him, it was his right to do and did not deserve to be attacked on ordered of the minister.
Rev.Fr.Andrew Tumukurate the parish priest for Rutenga says that he has no objection to the concerns of the Christians since they are demands are genuine.
He adds that the parish leadership have not heard of any efforts by the minister to have the money refunded.
Baryomunsi has always denied any wrong doing claiming that the incident was carried out by hooligans and not him despite that the kidnappers happened to be his bodyguards and were travelling in a vehicle belonging to him , the kidnapped priest and his team were held and tortured from his hotel.