Uganda: Muslim arrested for murdering Christian pastor

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) - A Muslim man has been arrested for the April 5 murder of a Christian pastor in eastern Uganda, Morning Star News reports. Pastor Yolonim Oduchu died of poisoning in Pallisa District after he refused to sell a piece of land to Aliasa Opeduru, one of a group of Muslims who wanted the land to build a mosque.

In a statement to Morning Star News, Pastor Oduchu’s brother, Francis Okirya, explained the background to the murder. “Aliasa Opeduru and a number of Muslims had approached my brother to sell them the piece of land several times, but my brother declined because their offer was small, and he also wanted to have part of the land set aside for constructing a church structure,” Okirya said. “Later my brother received a threatening message from Opeduru saying he would not negotiate with him again.”

The father of eight children, Pastor Oduchu lived in Raraka village and habitually ate at a Muslim-owned hotel restaurant in the Raraka trading center when visiting his land nearby, Morning Star News said. According to his wife Mary, Pastor Oduchu came home feeling ill after eating at the hotel on April 5.

“My husband took a motorcycle and arrived at home complaining of severe stomach pains, diarrhea and started vomiting,” Mary Oduchu told Morning Star News. “We rushed him to a nearby clinic, and he succumbed to poisoning.”

Morning Star News reports that angered residents confronted the hotel owner, who confessed that a group of Muslims had given him poison to put in the Pastor’s meal. Opeduru was subsequently arrested by police in connection with the murder. Mary Oduchu has requested prayer and financial assistance for her children’s schooling.