On Thursday December 09, during the national event to commemorate the International Anti-corruption Day, the Clergy in Uganda made a confession prayer and admitted that the “men of God” as shepherds of the people have failed to guide the population to fight evil.
On behalf of the Inter-religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), Bishop Joshua Lwere, confessed that as priests and prophets engage in self glorification and competition for supremacy, corruption in Uganda has grown to epidemic proportions. He said that as religious leaders to joyfully share the loot offered by corrupt government officials and dining with the thieves instead of reprimanding them, corruption took root and flourished. He prayed for repentance and a new beginning.
Bellow is a transcribed text of Bp. Joshua Lwere’s memorable prayer for resentence made at Kololo Independence Grounds on Thursday.
As a nation, we are shamed of our ways before you because we corrupted our ways and so we stand here first and foremost to confess our sins that are not hidden from your eyes but are so detestable before you. We however stand on your promise when you said in Isiah 1:18; “Come and we reason together. Even though your sins are like crimson, they will be as white as snow.”
Lord, our corruption in this country have reached epidemic proportions far worse than Ebola and COVID because it is resulting into poverty, ignorance and so much direct and indirect deaths. So, I start with us the priests and the prophets whom you called to speak for you. It seems, Lord, that corruption has started with us to neutralize us as the light and the souls that we are supposed to be to stop corruption among your people. Lord, there is so much corruption on the pulpits that we do not have the authority to be the conscious of the nation. We admit Lord our failure before you. We have corrupted our ways, and we have not guided your people. They bring corrupt money in our places of worship and even when we know that it is evil money, we still bless them (thieves) instead of counselling or reprimanding them.
We even tell the rest to emulate them, giving a false impression that you are a God who can be bribed by how much people give and all these such things.
Lord we are very sorry for letting you down and so we are very sorry for corrupting your altars with unholy incense of the strange fire we bring continually before you to cause your people to trample your courts in pride and nauseating sin. We are the main culprits Lord and we admit that. We spend so much time in self glorification, competitions and jealousies.
We have not loved the sheep so much as not to restrain ourselves from telling them the full truth for their eternal benefit. They have not seen in us the life of sacrifice that our Lord demonstrated while here on earth. We have preached a strange gospel and therefore given them another spirit, not your spirit. God, have mercy upon us for being blind guides other than bind true shepherds who lay down their lives for the sheep.
Lord in politics, everyone focuses on himself Nfunirawa? Nddya Wwa? Man eateth where he worketh is a popular talk, we scramble and snatch the best pie whenever the opportunity shows up, Lord have mercy upon us. Have mercy upon our politicians at all levels -national and local. Like us the shepherds, some have become ferocious wolves ready to devour your people.
We are, daily, sinking into debts as a nation, leaving an unbearable burden and a terrible legacy to our next generation. How shall we escape your righteous judgement? We even tech our children to buy votes in schools, colleges, and universities! we give money to our young still in kindergarten and give children sweets to bribe their fellows – meaning that their generation will even be worse than ours. Lord, incest is rampant in our homes. What we are leaving behind for our children and children’s children is not the legacy you want us to live.
Many professionals especially teachers and doctors who barely survive on meagre salaries while they persevere and sacrifice for the rest of us are so desperate whenever they hear the billions individuals plunder everyday. When they compare their meagre salaries to the politicians in parliament, local government and in other positions of leadership yet they spend years studying. Lord, how can we encourage them unless you help us to do it? Where can they get the hope that may be something will be better soon? Lord, please visit us, visit our doctors, visit our teachers, nurses, health-workers, encourage them and assure them so that they can go back and work. Help them understand that you are a just God who doesn’t cheat. You yourself will pay them commensurate to their labor and sacrifice even when we have no money to pay them superficially or or satisfactorily as they expect.Some have gone to other countries yet we spend too much money to train them.
Today, we plead with you Lord our God to have mercy upon us to really give us a new beginning. The people we lead are tired and they are like a sheep without a shepherd. They feel oppressed and have nowhere to run. They no longer believe that we have their best interest at heart. Even when we speak to them, they don’t listen. They no longer believe us. There is so much apathy in the countryside. We tell them we are launching a new anti-corruption campaign and they are indifferent. They are saying; ‘ago malya ga ssente.’ They are sarcastic and they answer mockingly.
Lord, this is a very painful and desperate situation that they are in. Therefore, we really need you and we need your visitation. Lord what can we do? Send us a revival like you did in the middle of 1930’s. Bring back that fear -the fear of God in our lives and the genuine repentance in the hearts of your people. Restore us Lord and the fortunes of this country.
Lord, we commit this new campaign in your hands today. Let this be different this time. May you rally your people again and let them give us another chance as we go out with the seriousness like we have never before. Lord help us mobilize this nation to stamp out corruption. This monster we have failed to conquer. Go ahead of us Lord as our commander and help us establish community monitoring groups at District, subcounty and parish level so that your people will have courage again to demand for accountability from the duty-bearers. So that the parish model will this time round succeed.
We pray that the lifestyle audit we are launching today will be a vocabulary on the peoples lips in Uganda. As we search for you, we totally depend on you lord. We rely on you because without you, we cant do it. Lord we pray, in a special way, for our president, we pray for the IGG and the Anticorruption agencies Lord our God, that we work together as one team. We thank you, Lord we bless you this day. In Jesus’ name our Lord we pray. Amen.