For over 14 years, Betty Namuddu Mukisa, a resident of Kabale Bugonzi in Kalungu district has concealed information about a sexual encounter with a catholic priest Rev. Fr. Paul Batawule.
Today, Namuddu breaks the silence, revealing that she secretly fathered a child with the priest attached to Buyoga catholic parish in Bukomansimbi district. She not only accuses the priest of rape, but for child neglect and threatening violence.
Namuddu, a former employee of Bukulula Parish narrates that she was sedated through a bottle of Soda given to her during one of the days spent at the priest’s house where she worked as a servant in 2000. Catholic clergy are required to take a vow of celibacy and are not allowed to marry
Namuddu adds that on the fateful day, she unknowingly found herself lying on the same bed with the priest, who, contrary to the canons and celibacy vows, asked her to be his secret wife. Namuddu was 17 at the time. The encounter resulted into a pregnancy and a child who is now aged 13.
Our reporters accessed a birth certificate and Baptism cards indicating that Rev. Fr. Paul Batawule fathered the minor whose identities are concealed in order to protect his rights as a child.
However, Namuddu failed to secure child support from the priest because she was unwilling to maintain a sexual relationship, a condition given to her by the priest.
Namuddu had initially made secreted attempts to have the matter resolved by complaining to the Bishop of Masaka Diocese John Baptist Kaggwa. But her effort was fruitless and she became increasingly desperate after failing to keep her son in school.
The 13 year old child said that he has visited his father twice but he threatened violence against him. He says last month, his father threatened to kill him if he ever attempts to visit the parish again.
The matter has now been brought to the attention of Masaka Diocesan vicar Rev. Fr. Joseph Kato Ssempungu, John Baptist Kaggwa, the Bishop of Masaka Diocese and Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala.
Rev. Fr. Paul Batawule, the embattled catholic priest has declined to comment on the matter. , neither did Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa, of Masaka Diocese. But Fr. Joseph Kasangaki, the Information officer in Masaka Diocese says Fr. Joseph Kato Ssempungu, the former Diocesan Vicar General has been appointed to handle the matter.
Fr. Kasangaki however says in the meantime, they want Betty Namuddu to surrender the alleged son of the priest to Masaka Diocese.
Linos Ngompek, the Masaka RDC says he has also asked Mukasa Kityo, his counterpart in Bukomansimbi to investigate the matter since the accused priest is in his area of jurisdiction.
The news augments a request by Father Anthony Musaala, a popular catholic priest who recently wrote a letter to the archbishop of the Catholic Church asking that; “the church should do away with the vow of celibacy, saying it was time for “common sense to prevail” as many clergymen were already living with wives and children.”