Court Summons Archbishop Kaziimba Over Election of Bishop


The High Court in Gulu has summoned, Church of Uganda Archbishop, Rt Rev Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, and four others following a suit filed over the election of Rev Godfrey Luwum as bishop of Northern Uganda Diocese.
Among the summoned are Rev Luwum, and Mr Francis Gimara, the Province of the Church of Uganda, and the Diocese of Northern Uganda.
Mr Gimara is the diocesan chancellor and chairperson of the Nomination Committee for the Northern Uganda Diocese.
While court had asked the summoned parties to file their defences, only Mr Gimara and Rev Luwum had done so by last Friday.
On October 19, Mr Tom Mboya Okecho and Mr Emmanuel Omwony, both lay leaders of the Diocese of Northern Uganda, filed a lawsuit citing several irregularities in the election of the bishop.
In their suit, the duo want court to, among others, declare the manner and process in which Rev Luwum was selected for appointment as a bishop, in violation of the Church of Uganda Constitution and Provincial Canon.
“A declaration that the Bishop’s Nomination Committee chaired by Mr Gimara was illegal and unconstitutional and a declaration that the failure of the Church and Bishop Kaziimba to cancel and nullify the illegal appointment of Rev Luwum amounted to breach of duty,” the lawsuit reads in part.
The duo also want the court to issue an order directing the Church of Uganda, Diocese of Northern Uganda and Bishop Kaziimba to cause the appointment of an appropriate and legally constituted Nominations Committee for the selection of the next bishop.
The applicants in the lawsuit now want the court to declare Rev Luwum’s election as null and void on account that the Diocese of Northern Uganda didn’t have a duly and properly constituted Nomination Committee.
In their suit, the applicants contend that Mr Gimara acted illegally to preside over the diocesan nomination exercise of July 10 while aware that his term of office had expired in 2009 and that he had not been reappointed by the Diocesan Council as the Diocesan Chancellor.
The appointments of Mr Moses Cik and Rev George Ludwero to sit on the Nominations Committee during the nomination process are also questioned.
Mr Cik, staff at the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity, is said to have been absorbed into the committee without undergoing a selection process while Rev Ludwero is reportedly serving an indefinite suspension from the Church ministry due to adultery and infidelity.
On July 12, a petition pointing out alleged irregularities in the nomination process signed by Mr Mboya was sent to Archbishop Kaziimba.
However, Church of Uganda House of Bishops disregarded the petition and went ahead to declare Rev Luwum as the bishop-elect of the Diocese of Northern Uganda on August 12.
Rev Luwum is set to be consecrated and enthroned on November 21.


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