Christians Divided Over Disqualification of Bishop Elect

A section of Christians in Luwero diocese has organized a special service to pray and protest the nullification of the election of Rev. Canon Godfrey Kasana Ssemakula as their 4th Bishop.

 It comes days after Provincial Secretary of the Church of Uganda, Rev. Canon William Ongeng announced that the House of Bishops sitting at Kabalega Resort Hotel in Hoima on June 28th, 2023 had resolved to nullify the elections of Rev. Canon Kasana Ssemakula.

Rev. Canon Ongeng said that the extraordinary decision was taken after getting credible information that the integrity of the Bishop-elect was misrepresented during the nomination and election process, which invalidated the election. 

He added that the House of Bishops had ordered fresh nominations by the Diocesan Nominations Committee within one month, ending 31st July 2023.

The decision didn’t go down well with a section of Christians loyal to Rev. Canon Ssemakula who insist that the church the decision was based on hearsay and questioned the haste to replace him.

Now, the aggrieved Christians led by David Kizito, a member of the St. Mark Cathedral choir have organized a special service to pray for Rev. Canon Kasana whom they claim was unfairly disqualified.

The Christians also intend to use the service to express displeasure about the disqualification of Kasana. The special service will be held at St Mark Cathedral in Luwero town council. Kizito says that they sought permission from the church administration, which okayed the prayers and notified the District Police Commander to provide the necessary security.

Erastus Kibirango the Luwero district LC V chairperson has backed the prayers, saying that it’s the right of Christians to pray and demonstrate peacefully. 

Kibirango said that Christians are aggrieved by the disqualification of Kasana whom they considered the native of Luwero to be elected to lead the diocese.

Luwero Diocesan Secretary Eric Ssebigajju said that Christians are free to pray in the church but they must abide by the normal order of service. 

Ssebigajju adds that they are hopeful the prayers will also help to ease emotions among the Christians.

“We have asked the organizers to stick to the prayers and avoid referring to Rev. Canon Kasana as bishop-elect as they did in their fliers. Rev. Canon Kasana was disqualified and we have since got a letter asking us to nominate new candidates,” Rev. Canon Ssebigajju said

The Luwero District Police Commander, Living Twazagye acknowledged receipt of the notification and said he was ready to offer the Christians security during the prayers. 

However, a section of Christians led by Kenneth R. Kikabi, a congregant at St. Mark’s Cathedral welcomed the disqualification of Rev. Kasana Ssemakula accusing him of siring children outside wedlock in contravention of the ten commandments and canon laws.

Kikabi insists that Kasana is not fit to lead the diocese because he committed adultery.

Kasana has repeatedly denied the allegations. On Sunday, July 9th, 2023 Right. Rev. Eridard Nsubuga the current Bishop of Luwero, will abdicate and hand over ecclesiastical authority to Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 as per the Constitution and Canons of the Church of Uganda.

The Christians have been mobilized to attend the church service starting at 10 am at St Mark Cathedral but some are vowing to hold another protest in the presence of Archbishop Kaziimba.

The House of Bishops will receive fresh nominations for the next Bishop and elect on August 1, 2023. The consecration and enthronement of the new Bishop will take place on Sunday, August 6th, 2023, at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Luwero.

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