Government through the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has commenced investigation into the embattled city Pastor, Aloysius Bugingo on likely charges of offensive communication and breach of the minimum broadcasting standards.
There has been growing anger among the members of the public following utterances by pastor Bugingo of House of Prayer Ministries who is accused of defaming his ex-wife, Teddy Naluswa.
During the lunch hour prayer meeting last week, Bugingo came out open on how Teddy suffered fistula, a condition that led to her bleeding for a period of 10 years which affected their sexual relations as a couple.
Bugingo told the congregation that he spent a lot of money during the 10 years period on Teddy’s treatment as well as buying cotton wool and sanitary pads.
But this has since promoted strong criticism from the general public and women’s rights campaigners who say the statements made by the pastor were an abuse to the women. He later apologized to the women who were offended, claiming the revelations regarding the fistula condition were first made by Teddy in a previous testimony at church.
The move by UCC was communicated by the Minister of State for Housing, Chris Baryomunsi while responding to a matter of National Importance that was raised by Kampala Woman MP, Nabilah Nagayi Sempala.
Nabilah condemned the utterances made by the pastor, noting that he has since hurt a number of women and girls in the country.
“As leaders, we condemn this and as MPs, we are in shock, as mothers we are in pain. No person should be condemned because of an illness; the future of our society, our moral fabric and respect of people is under threat,” Nabilah said.
She noted that the fight against Fistula and the advances made in destigmatizing it as an illness of shame, an illness that doesn’t accord the bearer right to be a honorable member of society has been given a major blow.
While responding on the matter, Baryomunsi on behalf of the Information Minister Frank Tumwebaze informed Parliament that apart from being warned, UCC has already secured the footage on the utterances and they are probing to ascertain whether Bugingo violated any law.
“Fistula is a condition which some women suffer as a result of their maternal responsibilities and therefore it is wrong for anybody to condemn a woman because she has that kind of condition irrespective of the differences one could have with her,” Baryomunsi said.
“I also join you in condemning that kind of talk; as government we took note of the offensive communication uttered by the said pastor and UCC which regulates the media took note of it and has since written to pastor Bugingo warning him that his utterances offend the existing laws and directed him not to offensively communicate again,” added the Minister.
Baryomunsi as well noted that UCC has also recovered the footages and recordings of Bugingo’s utterances and they are being studied.
“If UCC confirms that they (utterances) offend the Minimum Broadcasting standards in the law then government will take appropriate actions,” Baryomunsi said.