By our reporter
The leader of Tondism, an African traditional religion Mr Aligaweesa Jumba has said the man who attempted to attack Namirembe Bishop on Easter was simply putting up a stunt.
Jjumba, the chief priest of Tondism faith says Herbert Kaddu, the 35 year old man who ran to the altar with a stick and dressed in backcloth was not intending to hurt the bishop and that was why he does not appear to fight or challenge the people who came to pick him from the ground when he fell.
The sabakabona believes Kaddu was neither mad or possessed like it is being reported, instead he was on a mission to taint the image of traditional religion as demonic.
Jjumba says Kaddu is being used by pastors to paint traditional cultural practices as evil, and later on will take credit for allegedly healing the man. He says this is not the first time such stunts are made, and later pastors come out to claim miracles.
Sabakabona Jjumba who has over 200 traditional priests under his command, says his council of priests are concerned that there is a deliberate move to demonise every cultural practice as evil, but, says they will not sit around to see that plan coming to fruition.
Closed radio stations
He pointed out the recent closure of 23 radio stations in several districts for allegedly promoting fake traditional doctors, as part of the scheme to condemn them.
“If anyone cons people hiding under traditional healing, that is criminal, and therefore the police should come out to go after that person. It is unfortunate that radio stations used for other functions such as education or informing rural people of government programs can be closed because of the conmen they host.”
Mr Jjumba says the blanket condemnation of traditional healers was intentional, and called upon Uganda Communications Commission to open the radio stations and go after culprits.
The implication of the move by UCC was to condemn traditional religion and cultural practices, Jjumba argues, such that the media shuns traditional healers fearing to be closed or reprimanded.
“How do fake people come on air? The government should arrest the fake ‘healers’ and the person who hosts them knowingly. However, it is unlawful and unfair to condemn and ban traditional healers or traditional priests.”
He added that fake preachers are everywhere, citing ‘Pastors Kiwedde’ who conned many Ugandans that he had miraculous powers but born again churches and pastors were not banned on air neither were their radio stations closed down.
Jjumba says that following the closure of radio stations over hosting traditional healers, the man who ran after the bishop was suspect. He said he is being used by pastors to give traditional faith and cultural practices a bad name.
Jjumba called upon traditional healers to come out to defend their right to associate and no keep silent when they are being demonized and their rights trampled on.
According to the Commission’s spokesperson, Ms Pamela Ankunda, the closed radio stations were promoting and advertising witchcraft content, aiding and abetting electronic fraud. However Jjumba says traditional religion or healing was not witchcraft, challenging the 1958 Witchcraft Act which he says was colonial, and therefore should be repealed.
“It is the time to have a common voice on this matter. I call upon different traditional faith leaders in Uganda to fight for the right to associate because we are all Ugandans, and we practice what is within our culture as Ugandans.”