TEREGO. Christians of Ajiraku zone in Ocodri Catholic parish in Bileafe Sub County, Terego district are in panic and anxiety over the continued closure of the zone.

This particularly for the sick and elderly in dire need of sacraments but cannot move to the parish centre and the other neighbouring chapels due to long distance.

The activities in the zone were suspended on 27th November 2020 after the finance committee was accused of mismanaging funds, inadequate care for the catechists and theft of three bags of cement that was donated for plastering the church.

The four catechists in the church who reportedly suffered throughout 2020 due to heavy rain as they lived in dilapidated leaking houses without sanitary facilities were all sent home.

Mr Lawrence Nyakuta, a Christian from the zone said he doesn’t know how soon they will be permitted to pray given the situation on ground.

“Christians feel neglected because no prayers were organized during festive season, the attitude of people towards church has changed, if the prayers were allowed to continue, the works which are set as condition to re-open the place would have been finished,” Nyakuta said.

On the fateful day, the parish priest of immaculate heart of Mary Ocodri Rev. Fr. Richard Buni was provoked when the finance planning and development (FPD) committee members failed to turn up for an evaluation meeting.

The FPD committee members were expected to present accountability of over Shs.700, 000 got in a fundraising.

During an interview, Fr. Buni confirmed that he closed the zone because of the corruption which is hindering development.

He also accused the committee of mismanaging donations meant for the ongoing plastering of the church at the zone centre.

“When I left the venue I told the FPD committee and the leaders of the small Christian communities to come to me at the parish centre with the expenditure statement but they turned up without it,” Fr. Buni explained.

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He said he will not reopen the zone centre unless the four conditions laid are fulfilled.

“They should recover all the money, build a new FPD committee, renovate the dilapidating houses at the quarters of the catechists and construct their latrines” he said

“They thought I was joking, around Christmas they were asking me to schedule a program for confession, I just told them not to disturb unless they fulfil the conditions”, Fr. Buni warned.

Mr Peter Leku, the zone finance chairman claims that they used the missing money for feeding workers who were plastering the church.

The highly populated Ajiraku catholic chapel comprising over 3,000 Christians began in the 1970s and was elevated to a zone centre by the current parish priest in a bid to bring services closer.

By press time, only the committed Christians walk long distances for spiritual nourishment in the parish centre 10 Km away and in the neighbouring Liria chapel under Oluko Catholic parish.