Ugandan environmental authorities have taken action to demolish a church in Mukono City, as part of efforts to conserve and protect water bodies in the region. The Blood of Jesus Ministries International Church was swiftly brought down during an ongoing campaign by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to implement a presidential directive targeting wetland encroachers.

The church, owned by Pastor Joseph Muzaale, was located opposite Seeta High School along the Kampala-Jinja Highway. Although it appeared to have been built as a temporary facility, it occupied nearly three acres of a wetland. Authorities accused its management of obstructing water flow, which led to perennial flooding and property destruction in Kigunga and nearby villages.

During the demolition process, church members protested against NEMA’s actions. They pointed out several other establishments believed to be owned by influential government officials and foreigners that are also encroaching on wetlands. However, local leaders welcomed NEMA’s decision, citing the detrimental effects of wetland encroachment on their communities.

Some local leaders also criticized Mukono City authorities for approving building plans in wetland areas, exacerbating the problem of encroachment. However, a lawyer representing the church, Joseph Bampabura, argued that the church had obtained all necessary approvals from NEMA and Mukono City officials. He claimed they had secured a court order restraining NEMA from demolishing the property, but the demolition proceeded regardless.

Bampabura described the demolition as an act of impunity by NEMA, accusing the government entity of acting without a valid court order. He stated that they had filed a case against NEMA at Mukono police station in response to the incident.

On-site, NEMA official Naomi Namara Karekaho condemned the church for exceeding the approved development limits. She emphasized that the church should not have been built in a wetland area, highlighting the importance of adhering to environmental regulations to protect natural resources.