August 15, 2013

KIGEZI: Christians Move to Block Bishop’s Consecration

A group of Christians in Kigezi diocese have embarked on the collection of signatures to block the consecration of Rev. Canon George Bagamuhunda, the Bishop elect of Kigezi diocese.

Rev. Canon George Bagamuhunda is scheduled to be consecrate on 19th January 2014. He was elected recently to replace George Katwesigye, the outgoing Bishop of Kigezi diocese. However, a group of Christians in Kigezi diocese says Bagamuhunda is not worth leading them.

Kigezi Diocese Bishop-elect George Bagamuhunda. Some Christians  accuse the Bishop elect of conniving with his predecessor to swindle million of shillings.
Kigezi Diocese Bishop-elect George Bagamuhunda. Some Christians accuse the Bishop elect of conniving with his predecessor to swindle million of shillings.

They have embarked on collecting signatures to petition the Archbishop of Uganda Stanley Ntagali to block the consecration of Bagamuhunda.

They accuse the Bishop elect of conniving with his predecessor to swindle million of shillings meant for the construction of a community gravity water flow scheme and promoting clergy from Abasiga clan at the expense of others. They also claim that the Bishop elect has not demonstrated that he is capable of uniting Christians in the diocese as well as spread the Gospel of Christ.

James Tukamushaba, one of the petitioners from Nyabirerema Archdeaconry says the election of Bishop Bagamuhunda is a big disappointment to the Christians since he has never conducted any church service. He says they are still puzzled why he was actually elected.

Tukamushaba says they are well aware that the Bishop Elect used a lot of money to forge his way to the top position in the diocese. He says the diocese needs a Bishop who will lead the flock and unite Christians as well as spread the gospel like the late Bishop Festo Kivengere.

Another Christian Komugisha Scovia from Butobere Church of Uganda says the election of Bishop Bagamuhunda will worsen the ongoing confusion in the diocese. She says they were optimistic that the retirement of Bishop Katwesigye would mark a rebirth of the gospel in the Diocese but it appears nothing will change. Komugisha says the outgoing Bishop split Christians along ethnic lines and financial status adding that they expect the new Bishop to continue from where his predecessor stopped.

She wants the Archbishop to intervene and have another Bishop is elected for the Diocese.

Rev. Obed Turihohabwe, the Kigezi Diocesan Secretary has declined to comment on the matter. Rev. Canon George Bagamuhunda, the Bishop elect has denied bribing his way to the top saying he can never be party to such scheme. Bagamuhunda argues that the position of a Bishop is a calling from God and not a job adding that there is no need for him to bribe people his election.

He reminds Christians to understand that the primary role of a priest is to bring more people to God, which he has been committed too.

He also explains that the fact that he is not involved in evangelism on a daily basis does not mean that he cannot make a good Bishop because he is only a team leader who does not work alone. Bagamuhunda says he has no grudge with anybody adding that he is willing to meet all those opposed to him to strike a compromise and work together.

It is not yet clear whether the Archbishop of Uganda Stanley Ntagali will consider the petition of the Christians opposed to the Bishop elect. However, in a recent interview Ntagali said there was no conflict in the Diocese.

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