Christian Leader Arrested for Using Retirement To Tackle Uganda's Corruption
Following an arrest earlier this month, one of Uganda's most recognized Christian leaders could face charges as a result of his retiring early to work with the Black Monday Movement, a campaign against political corruption in the government.
Police arrested David Zac Niringiye, who recently retired after serving as assistant bishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda in Kampala, on Feb. 4 after he distributed "materials denouncing corruption to students at Makerere University in Kampala."
'I'll die rather than stay silent," Niringiye told the Center for Religion in World Affairs's Lapido Media. "A bullet to the head: if it must come to that, then let it be. ... Institutionally the Anglican Church has to rediscover its prophetic voice." His arrest inspired other Anglican leaders to call for similar anti-corruption efforts in other African nations.
Niringiye retired seven years early in order to "fight for social justice," according to an interview he gave Ugandan newspaper New Vision last summer. He has faced death threats for his campaign to restore presidential term limits; upon retiring, he challenged President Yoweri Museveni to do the same.
"Uganda scores poorly in corruption perception regionally and worldwide; it ranked 130th out of 174 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Index 2012," noted Lapido Media. "The country is presently grappling with $300m in aid cuts, following donor concerns about corruption and embezzlement of massive development funds destined mostly for Northern Uganda which is slowly rebuilding after 20 years of insurgency."
Niringiye was one of nine people arrested, all of whom posted bail and were released on the condition that they would report back to the police station the next week. According to Micah Challenge, an update from the EXPOSED campaign (for which Niringye was working) said Niringye returned to the police on Feb. 18, but was told to report to the police again next month.