Makerere University administrators have rejected the request to provide space for born-again Christians who are demanding their own church on campus, with the institution insisting that it can only accommodate three mainstream religions on campus.
The controversy emerged after Pastor Martin Ssempa, who has been leading prayers for students subscribing to the born-again denomination, petitioned the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) over the failure by the University to recognise and gazette their church.
According to the petition seen by KFM, Pastor Ssempa accused the university of religious discrimination, asking the EOC to intervene and ensure that equal treatment is given to born-again Christians, just like the Muslims, Catholics, and Anglicans.
According to the demands, Mr. Ssempa wants Makerere University to avail them land where they would construct their church, a Chaplain, and a house for the Chaplain.
A highly placed source said that the EOC court based on the above petition and complaints summoned Makerere University administrators to respond to the accusations. The meeting transpired last week according to the source.
EOC directed Makerere University to meet Pr Ssempa for mediation in a case of discrimination and marginalisation of the born-again faith in Makerere University and come up with resolutions in the next 60 days.
In an interview with Daily Monitor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs, Prof Umar Kakumba said that the University Council previously guided that the university can only accommodate the three mainstream religions.
He said that the university recognises Anglicans, Catholics, and Muslims.
He, however, said that the University Council will guide further on the way forward after the petition.
Makerere University management closed Ssempa’s Makerere Community Church which had been in operation for more than 20 years after Covid-19 in 2022, on grounds of being irregular to the university law which only recognises 3 religious groups.
The church was operating in the main hall of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and Bio-security (COVAB) before its closure.
Pastor Ssempa told Daily Monitor that without this church in place, they are unable to provide social services and support to thousands of students.