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Ugandan bishop on bail

15 February 2013

by a staff reporter

THE arrest of a retired Bishop who was protesting about corruption in Uganda has sparked outrage among civil-rights organisations.

The retired Assistant Bishop of Kampala, the Rt Revd Dr Zac Niringiye, was distributing newsletters with other activists from the Black Monday movement, a group that seeks to expose corruption, at Makerere University, in Kampala.

Bishop Niringiye was arrested with other activists for handing out "subversive" material, the police said. All were later released on bail, and the Bishop was due to return to court yesterday to answer charges.

The Bishop, who has a reputation for being outspoken, has previously called on the President, Yoweri Museveni, to throw out his friends in government. The Bishop accused them of being "embellished with corruption".

The director of mission at the Anglican Communion Office, the Revd John Kafwanka, praised Bishop Niringiye's stance. He said that the Bishop was "forthright", but "we need more Christians to stand for what Bishop Zac stands for, to speak against wrongdoing. . . Where corruption is found, God's people should stand up and speak up from a position of integrity."

The executive director of the Ugandan National NGO Forum, Richard Ssewakiryanga, said: "The police high-handedness in arresting the Bishop and other volunteers was not necessary, because they were not inciting violence."

A survey by the World Bank estimated that Uganda loses about $200 million a year through corruption; last year, the bank began reviewing its development assistance to the country.


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