By Moses Agaba
Kabale: David Bahati the State Minister for industry at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives has said that he will always be grateful to the Church of Uganda and the emeritus Bishop William Rukirande for their contribution towards his education.
Bahati says that the Diocese of Kigezi paid his fees in high school and bought him a new blanket and other requirements that enabled him to join University.
“I will always be grateful to the Church and You Bishop Rukirande for what they did for me After finishing senior 4 and had failed to get schools fees having lost my parent at 3 years and all hope of finishing education had been lost the Diocese through Stromme foundation under the stewardship of Rt. Rev. Dr William Rukirande came to my rescue as they got me a scholarship and I managed to finish secondary school the scholarship that Bishop Rukirande got me has made me what I am”, Said Bahati.
Bahati said this on Saturday during the thanksgiving celebrations of 90 years of Rt Rev. Dr William Rukirande the third Bishop of the Diocese of Kigezi that was held at St Peters cathedral Rugarama and fundraising drive for the construction of his home church of Rubira church of Uganda
The service was led by the Diocesan Bishop, the Rt Rev. Gaddie Akanjuna.
Bahati contributed Ugx 7m towards the thanksgiving saying that he is one of the people that Bishop Rukirande touched on his life when he was stewardship of the Stromme foundation paid school fees as an orphan and it’s because of the help that they gave him he is today what he is because of the help he got as he managed to finish school.
Bahati says that the 9 decades that bishop Rukirande has lived he has used them well in the ministry of preaching the word of God having got saved aged 9 years describing him as a true legend and pride of Kigezi, saying that long life is a gift from God but it’s a result certain choices that people make that has, led them to have a long life like Bishop Rukirande as the NRM government they also have started various programs aimed increasing the life span of Ugandans as in the 1990s it was 48 years but due to good government programs it has increased to 62 for men and 63 years for women.
“Bishop Rukirande has looked well after himself the NRM government is committed to creating an environment of long life there was time when the six killer diseases used to kill people in Uganda but now due to the government program immunization we no longer get such death “. Said Bahati.
Bahati appealed to Ugandans to embrace the Parish Development Model by forming SACCOs through which they will benefit from the scheme where the government, starting next financial year, will inject sh100m at parish level for development purposes.
Bishop Rukirande says that he got saved while he was 9 years and it has been the lord he decided to serve at an early age that has protected him all this time even though things have not been easy like the fleeing to exile of Bishop Festo Kivengere fearing for his life after the brutal murder of Archbishop Jonan Luwum by President Idi Amin things were not easy as they lived in fear.
Bishop Rukirande was born in 1934 in Rubira Kyanamira Sub County Kabale District.
He served twice as Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Kigezi under Rt.Rev. Dr Festo Kivengere in 1975 to 1980 and then went for further studies in America I bishop Kivengere who was a missionary again appointed him as his assistant Bishop in 1984 but After the death of Bishop Festo Kivengere in 1988 due to leukemia he succeeded him as the Bishop he served till 1997 when he retired and was replaced by Bishop George Katwesigye, Following the succession disputes in muhabura Diocese in 2004 the then Archbishop of the church of Uganda His Grace Dr. Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo appointed his as the caretaker of Muhabura Diocese till 2007.
In his sermon the Bishop of the Diocese of Kigezi Rt Rev. Gaddie Akanjuna says that the 90 years that Bishop Rukirande has lived have not been a waste as God had used him to do his work and is keeping on doing it as
“passed many milestones in life but you have kept on the 81 years that you have been saved is not an easy one but the living God that you decided to serve at a tender age is the one that has helped you “, said Bishop Akanjuna.