Court Asks Nuns, Kabale Diocese to Settle Case Out of Court

1989 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
On May 12 of 2014, Sister Mary Mukanyangezi, the commissioner of the Nun's Association under Kabale Diocese wrote to five nuns saying the church wouldn't renew their vows over alleged insubordination.

Justice Michael Elubu has given Kabale Catholic Diocese one month to reach a settlement with five nuns challenging their dismissal.

They are Sisters Lucia Kehoda, Judith Twinobusingye, Justine Naturinda, Schola Asiimwe and Lucia Musimenta, all members of the Daughters of Our Lady Fatima, a congregation of nuns.

On May 12, 2014, Sister Mary Mukanyangezi, the commissioner of the Nun's Association under Kabale Diocese wrote to the five nuns saying the church would no renew their vows over alleged insubordination.

They were also accused of telling lies in contravention of the canon rules of their congregation and of the Catholic Church.

The Nuns were also accused of signing an affidavit in the Kampala High Court in support of Father Boniface Turyahikayo's civil suit against Bishop Rubaramira without permission from their superiors, despite having been advised not to do so.

She therefore asked the nuns to vacate the diocese saying they will each receive 800,000 Shillings to assist them start a new life.

However, the nuns petitioned court to quash their dismissal saying it was unlawful. Through their lawyers of Nyote and Company Advocates, the nuns want court to declare that the Diocesan Council which stopped the renewal of their vows was irregularly constituted and its decisions are null and void.

The nuns also want court to declare that the grounds, which, the council based on to block the renewal of their vows, are illegal. They are also seeking that they be paid general damages and costs of the suit.

The defendants in the suit include Kabale Diocese, Bishop Callist Rubaramira, Sister Mary Mukanyangezi, Sister Mary Arinaitwe, Sister Schola Kyobutungi, Sister Odila Tindimubona and Sister Salane Beinomugisha.

Justice Micheal Elubu first heard the application on November , 1, 2014.  The case came up again on Monday this week. The Judge has appointed Felix Bakanyebonera, Kabale based lawyer to mediate between the two groups before they return to court on July 9th. Court will then decide on how to proceed depending on the outcome of the mediation efforts.

This is not the first time Kabale Diocese is being sued. On Sept 28, 2012, Bishop Rubaramira suspended Father Boniface Turyahikayo from exercising his liturgical functions for alleged misconduct and offending the church cardinal rules. 

Father Boniface Turyahikayo petitioned the High Court saying. However, Justice Michael Elubu dismissed the application prompting the priest to appeal the ruling. Court is yet to decide on the matter.


About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.