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Former VP Babiiha’s house turned into church

The house of former Uganda vice president, John Babiiha (RIP) is now a prayer centre for the Pentecostals.

Babiiha, was vice president and minister of animal resources from 1967-1971 under the Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) government led by Dr Apollo Milton Obote. He died in March 1982 and was buried at his home in Kibimba village, Fort Portal municipality.

In 2014, government spent Shs 11m to renovate the 8-bedroomed house after the family complained of neglect yet they are entitled to benefits from the state as descendants of the late.

In addition to government renovating the house, the family also received an additional Shs 260m as support to dependents in line with provisions of the Emoluments and Benefits of the President, Vice President and Prime Minister Act 2010.

The act states that, specified benefits shall be enjoyed by the surviving spouse or spouses and dependent children (until when they are 18 years old) of a vice president who dies in retirement until the death of the spouse or spouses.

The house turned into church

Now, the house of the former vice president is home to Christ Rock Pentecostal Church under the leadership of pastor James Matsiko. When URN visited the home, the sitting room had been turned into a prayer area while the other rooms are now used as church offices. A big wooden cross has also been erected in the compound.

Part of the compound is being used for night prayers.  Three rooms behind the main house are also being occupied by the church ushers.

Franklin Kunihira, one of Babiiha’s sons, says that the house was rented out to pastor Matsiko for two years. He however adds that the decision was taken by the heir, Peter Babiiha, without consulting the rest of the family.

“We were surprised to hear that our father’s house was given out. It’s an embarrassment to the family,” Kunihira says.

Kunihira, who is bedridden, says that since the house has been rented out, the family has no place where to gather for meetings or reunions.  He adds that it made no sense to renovate the house and then rent it out. But Peter Babiiha declined to give details, saying that it is a private family matter.

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