Some members of the public in Lira are in shock following revelations that some church leaders in the town have been associating with a visiting gay Canadian pastor. It all started last week after pictures of Pastor Doug Willoughby showing having sex with another man and other pornographic materials were posted on Face book.
In some of the pictures Charles Okwir, the pastor of Lira Victory Outreach church is seen standing with pastor Doug Willoughby. The revelation has not gone down with some church members and Lira residents.
A group of youth has written to the police asking to hold a demonstration today against the alleged involvement of the church leaders in gay activities.
The group leader Jacob Ocen says that they feel embarrassed by the church leaders who have been implicated in gay acts. Ocen says that they have asked police permission to stage a peaceful demonstration through Lira town to the church premises but police is yet to give them a response.
Faced with the embarrassment, the leadership of Pentecostal churches in Lira over the weekend rushed to distance themselves from claims that they could be involved in gay activities. Pastor Johnson Ogema, chairman of the Elders Fellowship said that they were furious because sections of the public were unfairly linking them with the activities of the gay pastor. He said some of the church projects in places like Barlonyo former IDP camp were also being mistaken for activities funded by the gay priest.
Meanwhile, Charles Okwir, the pastor who was pictured sitting together with Dough has also denied any links to the alleged gay pastor. Okwir explained that he has known Dough since 1984 when they met at a Pentecostal Bible college in Mbale but denies ever knowing that he was gay.
Okwir said he only served as a link when Dough visited Uganda in 2009 and again last year but did not relate to him as a gay. He however admitted that him and pastor Dough were in the process of registering a company to run some activities, which he declined to name.