By VOM NEWS TEAM
Residents of Gapfurizo village, Gihuranda Parish, Nyarubuye Sub county Kisoro district yesterday stormed Nyarubuye Sub County Police Post to demand the release of eight boys who were arrested by the Muturanyi Parish Priest Rev. Jonas Muhabwe for allegedly playing football at Muturanyi Church of Uganda grounds where they allegedly destroyed church property.
The minors who are between the ages of 16 and 19 years were rounded up and handed over to the Nyarubuye Police Post where they were briefly detained following protests from their parents and other members of the community.
The community members accuse Rev. Muhabwe and lay leader Amos Ndayisaba of forcefully implementing their decisions against the wishes of the community members.
Muturanyi Church of Uganda is under Kabindi Arch deaconry.
During a meeting at the Nyarubuye Police Post, Rev. Muhabwe demanded that the children sign that they will never play football at the church grounds, a decision the parents and local leaders refused to accept.
Rev. Muhabwe in the company of the Lay leader Amos Ndayisaba left the meeting prematurely saying they no longer had anything to say about the matter.
Several community members who spoke to Voice of Muhabura say the church leader is wrongly punishing the boys over other issues that have rocked the church in the recent past.
The community members say the village has no soccer field therefore they usually play at the church grounds and then go play other teams in Gatete.
A teacher at Muturanyi Community School who preferred anonymity says the boys usually play football and this has never been an issue.
According to the teacher, the boys allegedly abused the Lay leader Amos Ndayisaba when he came to stop them from playing football.
Muturanyi football players led by the captain Alban Nizeyimana said the team was expecting to play a football match against Nyarubuye FC this week.
He said the community needs to find another ground for the youth to develop their talents if Muturanyi Church of Uganda grounds are out of bounds.
The Nyarubuye O.C Station who preferred anonymity said the matter should have been handled in a more Christian way.
By Press time, the juveniles had been released on bond after the Nyarubuye OC Station requested the Village Vice chairman Steven Bizimana to stand as Surety for the children on behalf of the parents until Wednesday 18th May 2022 when another meeting will be held at the church grounds.
Bizimana says the Wednesday meeting will include the Nyarubuye LC III chairperson Ernest Buchokori, several church leaders among others.