Pastor Bujingo indicted for wedding second wife

The House of Prayer Ministries lead-Pastor, Aloysious Bugingo, and his “bride” Suzan Makula Nantaba, were charged by Entebbe magistrates court on Wednesday on two counts under the marriage Act and one count under the Penal Code Act.

The couple was charged with contracting marriage by customary law when already married which is contrary to section 50 of the marriage Act. In the second count, Suzan Makula Nantaba was charged for marrying a person previously married, which is contrary to section 42 of the marriage Act.

“Suzan Makula Nantaba on December 7, at Kawuku in Katabi town council, Wakiso district, being unmarried, went through the ceremony of marriage with pastor Aloysious Bugingo a person she knew to be married to Teddy Naluswa Bugingo,” read the second count before Bugingo was swatted with a third count of Bigamy which is inconsistent with section 153 of the Penal code Act. “Having a wife, Teddy Naluswa Bugingo living, went through a ceremony of marriage with Suzan Makula Nantaba,” stated in part, the charge-sheet in a third count.

Court presided over by Entebbe grade one magistrate Stella Okwong Paculal, ordered the couple to appear in court on January 21, 2022, to answer the charges. Pastor Bugingo and Suzan Makula were dragged to court by public litigants Male Mabirizi and Robert Rutaro Muhairwe (independently) for engaging in a marriage process early this month, yet still married to Teddy Bugingo.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) who was represented by Ramla Damba told the court that the office of the DPP was not interested in prosecuting the criminal case.

Pastor Bugingo was represented by counsel Ronald Ruhinda who said his client is a law-abiding citizen and therefore, would come to court any time needed. The pastor was first slapped with criminal summons as applied for, by counsel Robert Rutaro of Elgon associated advocates and later, by Male Mabirizi before the court consolidated the two criminal cases.

The Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) having no interest in prosecuting the matter, Mabirizi and Rutaro will lead the prosecution as directed by the court.

“There is no doubt, a crime was committed in broad daylight where Bugingo, known to be a married person, went through a marriage ceremony with someone else while the other marriage is still subsisting. We, therefore, expect him to come and plead guilty to these charges and serve the sentence in prison,” contends Rutaro.

The other litigant Mabirizi noted that the institution of marriage will lose credibility and relevance if Bugingo’s action goes unchallenged. “People commit these crimes every day so, this is an opportunity to educate the public about these laws and also instill confidence in the family systems,” Mabirizi stated

On December 20, 2003, Pastor Bugingo is said to have got married to Teddy Naluswa vide certificate number 376 through church marriage at Victory church center, and on December 7, 2021, Bugingo conducted a customary marriage at Bwerenga, Katabi town council in Wakiso district.

Section 42 of the Marriage Act states that Any person who, being unmarried, goes through the ceremony of marriage with a person whom he or she knows to be married to another person, commits an offense and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

Section 50 states that any person who, having contracted marriage under the Act or any modification or reenactment of this Act, during the continuance of that marriage contracts a marriage per customary law, commits an offense and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

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