Lutheran Church in Lira Split over Finances

1627 Views Lira, Uganda
The Lutheran Church in Lira district has been hit by claims of embezzlement and financial impropriety, leading to the sacking of the financial manager for northern Uganda. Robert Waako, who is also a police officer attached to Lira central Police Station, was reportedly sacked at about Easter for defrauding foreign donors. He was identified as part of a group of church members who have been writing to foreign donors, soliciting for money to provide psychosocial rehabilitation for war victims in northern Uganda. None of the purported psychosocial rehabilitation centers exist. Reverend Nelson Ociti, the Lutheran Church district coordinator, says Waako and his group wrote several false proposals and received a large sum of money. He says there is no evidence that the money was ever handed over to the church or used for the issues it was raised for. Reverend Ociti reveals that the Lutheran Church in Lira has publicly denounced the group among its members. Sources within the church claim that the fallout is based on a simple misunderstanding. They claim that Waako raised money on behalf of the Lutheran Media Ministry in Uganda and not the Lutheran Church in Uganda, to which the Lira church belongs. Waako says the accusations against him are false and are based on a fight for juicy positions in the church. He says he is one of the founders of the church in Lira and will not leave it. The policeman says that if the divisions and disagreements are not resolved, the church will split up and fall apart.