Eliphaz Ssekabira (left) with Venerable Canon Godfrey Kasana, the bishop elect for Luweero diocese.

Lessons From Luweero Bishop’s Election Process 

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By Eliphaz Ssekabira

On 11th April 2023, Luweero Anglican Diocese Chairman for the House of clergy Rev Shem Jukira and the head of laity Patrick Kibaya co-authored a letter to the Archbishop of the Province of Uganda, The Most Rev Dr Samuel Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu indicating that their respective constituencies were “completely behind” the election of Venerable Canon Godfrey Kasana as the 4th Bishop of the 32-year old Luweero Diocese.

The duo wrote “we completely disassociate with any disgruntled, minority groups who purport to represent Christians of Luweero…”

This rebuttal was delivered a few hours after a group of Christians lead by one Kikabi Kenneth petitioned our leader in faith (the Archbishop) over what they termed as glaring procedural issues leading to the election of Venerable Canon Kasana as the new Bishop. Venerable Canon Kasana was elected by the House of Bishops on 3rd April 2023 at Muhabura.

In this second petition, they alleged that the Diocesan Nominations Committees’ integrity and competence could not deliver an honest result. That the entire process was allegedly marred with bribery, tribalism, open campaigning, intimidation and other vices. They stated…”Your Grace, our conscious understands that there is absolutely no correlation between light and darkness and therefore, God in His Holiness can never work through ungodly practices”

This group had earlier (on 22nd March 2023) successfully petitioned the Archbishop over the age requirement of one priest who had been recommended to the House of Bishops yet he had not made ten years of priesthood as required by the Provincial Canons and the constitution of the Province of Uganda.

It is not clear whether the new petition will be referred to a tribunal to ecclesiastically dispose it off or whether the Church will take the mediation path.

In the two petitions, Venerable Canon Godfrey Kasana is not accused of any wrong doing and it is not indicated that he is not qualified to be a Bishop. The petitioners are querying the process. Even if the nomination exercise is repeated, he will successfully go through the process. He will most likely be consecrated and enthroned as the 4th Bishop on 16th July 2023 at St Mark’s Cathedral, Luweero.

Since its inception in 1991, the Diocese has been led by three Bishops; Misusera Bugimbi (RIP, 1991-1996), Evans Mukasa Kisekka(1996-2014) and the outgoing Eridard Nsubuga who took over from Bishop Kisekka.

The forth electoral process has had a fair share of controversies as the third one which produced the third Bishop. In 2014, the Nominations Committee subjected the men of God to a medical examination (HIV, Hepatitis B, Diabetics, Blood Pressure, Kidney tests) which could only be done at Kiwoko.

“…The Holy Spirit has guided the electoral college to require that the Medical Superintendent of Kiwoko Hospital arranges for your medical examinations…. You will personally meet the cost of this exercise..,” wrote Prof Khiddu Makubuya, the then Chancellor of the Diocese wrote to candidates.

There are lessons learnt from Luweero scenario. The first is the stern reminder to all of us that it’s God who calls any of His preferred servant to serve in the vineyard. Many Christians in the Diocese had high expectations in some candidates but God in His wisdom left all those people who did whatever was humanly possible to ascend to the highest office in the Diocese.

The selection process for the position of the Bishop should be reviewed. In the case of Luweero, the Committee did not invite or interact with any of the aspiring Candidates save for their spouses. They only relied on information provided by the candidates and on reports gathered. A Bishop is a spiritual, Pastoral and executive head of a Diocese; hence the need for a formal interaction where candidates can even get an opportunity to air on some of the wrong propaganda spread against them.

Provincial Canon 3.7.29 states that “The substantive business of the Nominations Committee shall begin with the taking of oath of secrecy by all members of the Committee” Alas, in Luweero Diocese we were getting whatever transpired in the committee as it unfolded. Members of such sensitive committees should be persons of high standing who are able to keep confidential information for the good of the Church.

At a certain point, the nomination process went tribal. The Diocese basically has three major tribes (Baruli, Baganda and Banyankole) from the Districts of Nakasongola, Luweero and Nakaseke. This time round, the Baruli thought that one of their own will ascend to the highest office in the Diocese which has not been the case. If the discontentment is not handled with care, Nakasongola Archdeaconry will increase its demand for the creation of a new Diocese.

A Diocese has one Bishop at any given time. At 52 years, Venerable Canon Godfrey Kasana will lead our Diocese for thirteen years up to 2036 when he will clock 65 years of mandatory retirement. He is a good listener, flexible, humble, and approachable and he understands the Diocese very well. Let us embrace, pray and support him.

The writer is a Congregant at St Marks’ Cathedral, Luweero



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