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Ibanda : Woman Takes Own Life in Church Due to Unsettled Debt

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Ibanda municipality witnessed a tumultuous evening on Wednesday when police deployed gunfire and tear gas to disperse agitated Christians attempting to vandalize Depths Ministries Church in Kafunjo cell, Bufunda Division. The demonstration was sparked by the death of Scovia Akankunda, who reportedly took her own life within the church premises, protesting the nonpayment of a loan she had extended to Pastor Daniel Bukenya.

According to Colman Mulonde, the LC I Chairperson of Kafunjo cell, the deceased had repeatedly requested the return of the Shillings 16 million she loaned to Pastor Bukenya in July, with a promised repayment within two months. Akankunda, a regular attendee of Depths Ministries, resorted to suicide by ingesting poison when the pastor failed to honor his commitment.

Protesters demanded action against the church for noise pollution and called for an investigation into the allegations against Pastor Bukenya. Emily Musiimenta, a vendor at Ssaza Market, accused Pastor Bukenya of soliciting money from women in the market under the guise of providing prayer services to remove curses and safeguard their businesses.

Despite the intent to vandalize the church, police intervened, using live bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Samson Kasasira, the Rwizi Region Police spokesperson, confirmed an ongoing search for Pastor Bukenya as investigations into the matter progress. The body of the deceased, Scovia Akankunda, is currently at Ruhoko Health Center IV pending a postmortem examination to determine the cause of death and verify the claims of poisoning.

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