Zac Niringiye appointed to end the Conflict in Kigezi Diocese between head of laity and Bishop George Katwesigye.
The Provincial Council of the Church of Uganda has appointed Bishop Zac Niringiye to head the team that is to investigate the brewing conflict between Christians of Kigezi Diocese and their bishop George Katwesigye.
The Council, which is the highest decision-making organ in the Church of Uganda, made the appointment in a meeting in Kampala aimed at petering out the simmering conflict in the southwestern diocese.
The conflict stems from accusations by some sections of the Kabale Church of Uganda laity that Bishop Katwesigye promotes sectarianism and nepotism in his appointment and promotion of the clergy.
Bishop Katwesigye's accusers say he promotes clergymen and women from Rukiga Archdeaconry and in particular those from the Abasigi clan.
They also claim that a number of those appointed or promoted have hovering moral questions like embezzlement of church funds and extra-marital affairs.
As a consequence, members of the laity threatened to shut down and paralyse church activities if Archbishop Orombi does not retire or transfer Bishop Katwesigye.
Bishop Niringiye, also the Assistant Bishop of Kampala Anglican Diocese, is expected to have his first meeting with heads of laity and Bishop Katwesigye this Friday .
The team is expected to present its final report to Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi by April. Orombi, who is currently on leave, will then be in Kabale on April 15th to meet both sides.
The head of the laity, Hillary Ayebare Bindeeba, welcomed the appointment of Bishop Niringiye and confirmed that he would be attending the Friday crisis meeting.
Bindeeba said the Provincial Council is concerned that if the conflict spirals out of control it could divide the Church in Kabale.
Bruce Kyerere, the legal advisor to the diocese, also confirmed that Bishop Katwesigye is willing to meet both the Niringiye team and the other side in the conflict.
Bishop Niringiye, also a top official of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, has been at the forefront of peacebuilding efforts before, during and after the 2011 general election.
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