Last Updated on: 30th March 2023, 12:12 pm
Fear has gripped residents of Kibugambata village, one of the slums in Masese Ward, Southern Division in Jinja City following an overnight incident when some unknown group of people burnt down a building belonging to Pastor Samuel Ngobi.
Kibugambata is a Lusoga word loosely translated to mean ‘the city for the ducks’, owing to its ghetto-like setting, characterized by makeshift houses occupied by low-income residents with inadequate facilities like water, drainage, and paved roads.
According to locals, the incident happened on Tuesday around 10:00 pm shortly after Pastor Ngobi moved out of the house with his family members for an evening meal at Highway Restaurant in the heart of Jinja city.
It’s not yet clear whether the man of God had any intelligence that some danger was lurking or it was divine intervention that guided him out of what would have become the worst crime in the area since the year began.
The small building next to the church was reduced to rubble in the attack which has now left residents who have been living peacefully in a panic about what could happen to anyone of them.
In what looked like a well-rehearsed incident, the attackers who appeared to have adequate knowledge of the daily routine of the Pastor and about the area made sure the center of interest (bedroom) became the target and epicenter.
The motive of the attackers is still not yet established but some sources suspect the criminal could have used a locally devised bomb or simply spread petrol on the house before setting it on flame.
The incident comes hardly one week when some unknown group of people broke into the church and stole the music system including the public address equipment used during services.
According to some residents, a set of curtains and table clothes used on the altar were also taken while others were set ablaze.
The head of a hen was also recovered and buried in front of the church, which some people blamed on witchcraft by some elements.
Although the incident happened at night, the police (Scene of Crime Officers (SOCOs) and some detectives arrived at the scene at around 10: 30 am Wednesday morning when most of the crime scenes were already contaminated by the locals.
Asked whether he blames the incident on internal squabbles among some members or it is about land-related issues, Pastor Ngobi, 41, says he has no grudge against any member of his church called God’s Way Christian Centre, adding he legally bought the land from family members.
No arrests have been made and the police are asking members of the public with information to share with them so that suspects behind the incident are apprehended and prosecuted before a court of law.