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June 13, 2024
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Ugandan Jesus fined shs300,000 for refusing to be counted

Luwero Magistrate Court has sentenced the self-styled Jesus to a fine of 300,000 shillings for refusing to be counted.

On Wednesday, the self-styled Jesus Navas Vera the King of Star Glopper Eden church, and his follower El Shadai Gracy of Katikamu Luyima zone in Wobulenzi town appeared before Luwero Grade one Christopher Adyeeri Kingi Tindyeebwa for hearing of their case.

The two were last week remanded at Butuntumula prison after pleading guilty to refusing to be counted.

State Attorney Sarah Nakire told the court that on May 13th, 2024 while at Luyima zone when approached by Patrick Kato the enumerator, the two neglected and refused to be counted saying they were prohibited from doing so by their religion.

Nakire added that the enumerator asked the area LCI Chairman Daniel Kikonyoggo to engage them to accept the exercise but the two refused to comply.

She said that the matter was reported to the Police, who arrested the two but refused to record a statement.

Jesus Navas Vera and his follower El Shadai Gracy told the magistrate that the facts were true.

The Magistrate convicted them on their plea and asked them to explain why he should give them a maximum sentence for the offenses. He also asked the two to tell the court why they refused to be counted.

Responding with a smile, Jesus Navas Vera told the magistrate that he had a chance to either release him to go back and preach to his followers or jail him.

Navas explained that he belongs to another World and can’t accept being counted by another government. He also quoted bible teachings alleging that Herod used the census to search for Jesus and kill him.

When asked to tell the Court his age and how he ended up in Luwero, Jesus Navas told the magistrate that he wasn’t born but came from Heaven and was already counted there.

Navas added that he is not a human being but the last Jesus Christ who came from heaven.

When the Magistrate asked his follower El Shadai Gracy for the defense before the sentence, she told him that she followed Navas Vera because he was a spiritual father and came from heaven.

When the Magistrate pressed her to prove that Navas came from heaven, El Shaddai replied that the holy spirit told her and that in the Kingdom of Heaven, they are not supposed to be counted.

El Shaddai Gracy added that they came from another World and accepting to be counted is like submitting to another World.

Nakire asked the Magistrate to hand them a maximum sentence because their actions to refuse to be counted as tantamount to sabotaging the government programme and they should serve as an example to others.

But their defense lawyer Alia Kwizera of Neon Advocates asked the Court to give the custodial sentence to the convicts since they were first-time offenders, didn’t waste court time and the census exercise had come to an end.

The Magistrate Christopher Adyeeri Kingi Tindyeebwa said that the actions of both obstructed the lawful execution of the census exercise and according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics Act section 28(3)(B) the maximum sentence is a fine of 600,000 shillings or imprisonment for six months or both.

The Magistrate said although it’s not a mistake to profess any religion, it’s unacceptable to mislead people and refuse to be counted which may hinder planning for their benefit.

The Magistrate handed a sentence of a fine of 300,000 shillings immediately or three months in jail in consideration of the importance of the exercise as well as his defense lawyer’s mitigating factors and the State Attorney‘s request.

The Magistrate added that Navas Vera didn’t waste court time and is aware that the prisons are crowded with inmates.

The Magistrate also sentenced El Shadai Gracy to a caution and released her to go back to look after the family.

The Defense lawyer Alia Kwizera told URN Reporter after court that Jesus Navas Vera had accepted the sentence and efforts were underway to solicit funds to ensure he is released to continue to preach to his followers.

By the time of compiling the story, Jesus Navas Vera and the follower were still locked in court cells as efforts were being made by the followers to look for money to secure their release.

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