Ruwenzori Bishop Moves to Address Row With Christians

2032 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Last week, the Christians led by Charles Kisembo, the head of laity Bumandu Archdeaconry announced plans to break away from Ruwenzori Diocese and form West Ruwenzori diocese with its headquarters at Bumandu in Bundibugyo district. Kisembo alleges that they are being marginalised and oppressed by Bishop Kisembo and other clergy.

The Bishop of Ruwenzori Diocese, Reuben Kisembo has appointed a team to investigate allegations raised by Anglican Christians in Bundibugyo district. 

This follows threats by the Christians who plan to secede from Ruwenzori Diocese and form their own diocese.  

Last week, the Christians led by Charles Kisembo, the head of laity Bumandu Archdeaconry announced plans to break away from Ruwenzori Diocese and form West Ruwenzori diocese with its headquarters at Bumandu in Bundibugyo district.  Kisembo alleges that they are being marginalised and oppressed by Bishop Kisembo and other clergy.

He also claims that there has been mismanagement of funds by some clergy based at the Diocesan headquarters in Fort Portal and Bishop Kisembo has done nothing to address the problem.  

Reverend Jonathon Kyangasha, who had been posted to Bumadu as Archdeacon two years ago was also asked by the Christians to return to Ruwenzori Diocese.

In a telephone interview, Bishop Kisembo says that he has sent a team of three people to Bundibugyo to investigate the allegations raised by the Christians and head of laity. 

Bishop Kisembo, who declined to reveal the names, explains that the team will report to him in a week's time and then the diocese will make an official position on the matter. 

"I have sent three people to Bundibugyo to investigate those serious allegations. I am surprised by the allegations because it is my first time to hear them," said Kisembo.

Kisembo also downplayed plans by the Christians to secede from the Diocese, where he has been Bishop since 2011. 

According to Bishop Kisembo, the decision to create a new diocese is supposed to be decided by the synod of the mother diocese and not individuals.  

Ruwenzori Diocese, with its headquarters at St. John's Cathedral in Fort Portal, covers the districts of Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kyegegwa, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko. 

Should the Christians in Bundibugyo succeed in seceding from Ruwenzori, it will be the third time Ruwenzori Diocese has been split. In 1984, after a long struggle, South Ruwenzori Diocese based in Kasese district was curved off Ruwenzori Diocese with Bishop Zebedee Kahangwa Masereka as the first Bishop. The then Ruwenzori bishop, Dr Eustace Kamanyire, was opposed to the creation of South Ruwenzori diocese.
 
In 2009 East Ruwenzori Diocese based in Kamwenge district was created and Edward Bamucwanira was elected first Bishop.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.