JEROD DAVINCY ODONGO. He used to be a petrol smuggler before being abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army but he escaped. For a decent life, Odongo worked as a security guard, cargo porter before God led him into founding Highly Favoured International Ministries , writes GILLIAN NANTUME.
In February 2017, Prophet Jerod Davincy Odongo of Highly Favoured International Ministries stunned his audience at Prayer Mountain in Seguku on Entebbe Road, when he predicted that a much-loved high ranking government official would die in March. He did not give the official’s name. Recently, he was at it again – predicting the death of a top police official. This time, he gave names, saying there were four more officials waiting in line to meet their creator before the end of 2017.
One afternoon, in late May, I took a bodaboda to Bugolobi to find out the source of Odongo’s prophecies. It turned out to be a tall man in a white robe, with a dazzling face. According to Odongo, this man is God. “He introduced himself to me as The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He did not call himself Angel or Jesus. I talk to Him face-to-face.”
Meeting the God
Intrigued, I ask him to inquire of the ‘White Man’ about Uganda. Odongo asks if I can give him time to go deeper in the spirit. He leaves us. Why not? After all, I have time on my hands. He returns after 30 minutes with a grim prophecy.
Listening to him, it seems the afternoon grows slightly darker. Maybe it is because the windows of the house face the wrong direction, making the interior dark. My colleague, Abu Lubowa – usually skeptical of pastors – has a look of determined concentration on his face as Odongo speaks. You can hear a pin drop on the tiled floor.
The matchbox and candle on a saucer sitting on the coffee table appear strange in the modern décor. The four-bedroom storeyed house belongs to Joyce Onen, widow of Dr Tom Onen, a former senior consultant psychiatrist at Butabika Hospital. Odongo lives in the boys’ quarters alone. In 2013, a policeman seduced and married his wife, threatening to kill him if he continued to pursue the woman.
Odongo is no stranger to dark prophecies. Just before the 2011 general elections, all manner of pastors and prophets converged at State House Entebbe.
“They feared to tell him the truth,” Odongo says. “They told him he would win the election. I was young and poor. These pastors drove big cars, and they wore coats (suits). I was the last to speak. I told the president he would win but Uganda would never be at peace again. I saw bloodshed, teargas, high commodity prices, corruption on a high scale, and rebellion in his political party. I saw the president dancing around drums, influenced by witchdoctors.”
According to Odongo, Museveni took the prophecy with humour. Not long after, on February 13, 2011 the president met witchdoctors at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole. Later that evening, Museveni presided over the National Peace Rally and Prayer at Kololo Airstrip.
Who is Odongo?
Born a Roman Catholic in Omoyo Centre, Nebbi District, in 1983, Odongo was destined for priesthood. However, in 2006, he dropped out of Pokea Minor Seminary after his father died.
“Omoyo is a border town, so I went into business, selling smuggled petrol. Unfortunately, the Anti-Smuggling Unit confiscated my drum of petrol (200 litres). Someone had betrayed me. My belief was: you destroy my property, I destroy your life.”
Odongo joined a gang of smugglers who had also lost their petrol. He was assigned to look for the traitor. “I walked to Congo and found him in Nyarambe village. He belonged to a rival gang. We made our plans, and one night, seven of us walked to Nyarambe. The leader and I had a gun each. At the man’s home, I entered the kraal and disturbed the goats.”
The goats bleated in fear. Hearing them, the man came out of the house with his gun cocked.
“Our leader shot him dead,” Odongo says. “His wife was in the house, raising an alarm and calling out our names. I shot her in the heart. Then, a debate arose about what to do to their crawling baby. I told them not to kill him; I would take him to my sister’s home in Arua. The others rejected the proposal, so I put them on gunpoint. I would kill whoever killed the child.”
The leader also had Odongo in his gun sight. The stalemate lasted some minutes. Then, the leader sent someone to bring the baby to Odongo. “He went inside, swung the baby, and crashed its head against the wall. I cried. It was too late. We returned to Uganda.”
One evening, two weeks later, alone in his house, Odongo says he came face-to-face with God. “The lamp had enough paraffin but it went out. It was not windy. Suddenly, the house became very bright. I could see the dust on the floor. A man emerged from the wall. He wore a white robe, had long hair and a beard. I tried to look at his face; my eyes burned. The face was so shiny. Speaking in Alur, he told me to repent to the family of the traitor.”
The next day, the frightened man told the gang he was going to confess. They almost killed him. “I told them I was going to say I committed the crime alone. They thought I was a government spy. Others thought I had gone mad. The White Man assured me the gang would not kill me.”
‘With God escorting him’, Odongo walked to Congo and found the funeral in progress. To cut a weird story short, Odongo confessed, was forgiven, and gifted with a bull and cow. Three days later, he publically confessed at Omoyo Roman Catholic Church. Odongo says the White Man disappeared for a week, only to reappear wielding a stick, hitting Odongo and harshly commanding him to get saved – which he did at Abala Church of Uganda.
Becoming a pastor
Odongo joined St Joseph’s College, Layibi to continue his education, but in February 2006, was abducted by rebels and spent six months in the bush. “God forbade me from killing anyone. We walked a lot, but ate well. In fact, the rebels wore new UPDF uniforms. I escaped on the day Sura Mbaya (UPDF gunship) began dropping bombs. I returned to Omoyo.”
In 2007, Odongo travelled to Entebbe and joined Ultimate Security Uganda as a security guard. In 2009, he joined Entebbe Handling Services (ENHAS) as a cargo porter. He created All for Christ Fellowship at the Presbyterian Church in Katabi. He became an evangelist, preaching at Charismatic and Pentecostal crusades. After leaving ENHAS, he worked at the UN base and Uganda Virus Research Institute before going into fulltime preaching.
Odongo claims he was anointed in 2016 at a conference prophet by a Jewish pastor. The pastor was amazed at Odongo’s ability to talk to God face-to-face just as Prophet Moses did. Odongo claims to pray for people with any disease, including HIV/AIDS and cancer, and they get healed. He uses salt, olive oil, water, matches, and a hammer. Nowadays, the church meets at Bat Valley Primary School.
When I ask Odongo if he is not among the charlatans that are the plague of Pentecostalism, he says, “Pastors who ask for money are liars. However, a prophet has no job, so people can support him out of love. When you visit the Kabaka, do you go empty-handed? He does not ask for gifts, but people give him out of love.”
Prophecy on Uganda
The wickedness is increasing. I saw the King of Rwenzururu. The government wants to kill him and they (court) will give him the death penalty. When something happens to that man, confusion will arise. Tribes will gang against each other. These next four years…it has already started. The change people want will be chaotic. The Opposition is playing games. People in government are going to kill each other…assassinations. God has already sent the spirit of greed. It is a family thing. Each will want to overthrow the other. The death of this government will come from within.
After these four years…a huge conflict in the ruling family – but there will be no war. Uganda is good, but it is ruled by evil people. Their evil power will destroy them. There is a battle brewing between the ‘big’ people. And it will soon end in bloodshed. That is all I can say in the media. The rest is too sensitive.
Pastor Joyce Onen
Director of the Ministry
I lost my husband in 2012 and was having financial challenges. President Museveni called and told me to go to Lucy Nakyobe (State House comptroller) after the funeral to get money. I never received anything.
We were living in London and it is the President who convinced my husband to return. My husband declined the ministerial post. Eventually, we returned in 2002, but our children live in the UK. (According to The Independent, a British online newspaper, in 2001, the General Medical Committee of the UK struck Dr Onen off the medical register for prescribing “exceptionally large quantities” of controlled drugs to patients at his private addiction clinic.)
I began drinking heavily. A friend convinced me to meet the prophet in April 2016. He prophesied that I had diabetes, hypertension, blood impurities, liver cirrhosis, and a hole in the heart. I also had a swelling below the knee, eye problems, and alcoholism. He prayed for me and Jesus healed me. He broke the generational curses at my home and husband’s home. When his home was demolished, the prophet came to live in my boy’s quarters. He prophesied that the president will call me to get the money he promised. When he calls, I will ask for Shs10b.
Other pastors SAY...
“In the Bible, there are prophecies concerning nations. The prophecy has to be in line with what the Bible teaches because there is nothing that is going to happen that has never happened before. Just give it time; if the prophecy is accurate, there will be signs to show what is to come.”
Rev. Fredrick Semazzi, Secretary General, National Fellowship of Born-again Pentecostal Churches of Uganda
“Some of Odongo’s prophecies have come to pass. All prophecy comes from God. It is up to the prophet to pray against what he considers the negative prophecies so that they do not come to pass.”
Pastor Christopher Owachgiu, Victory City Church