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Christians divided over withdrawal of bishop petition in Luwero

Katende, Kakembo and thier lawyer Erastus Kibirango denying reports of withdrawing the case. PHOTO URN

Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A sharp disagreement has emerged among petitioners in the suit challenging the nullification of Rev. Canon Godfrey Kasana Ssemakula over a plan to withdraw the case.

On December 6th, 2023 four Christians of Luwero Diocese dragged 37 Anglican Bishops that constitute the House of Bishops to Luwero High Court challenging their decision to nullify the election of Rev. Kasana as Bishop. The Christians include John Saigt Ssendowooza and Moses Bemba from Ndejje Archdeaconry. Others are Christopher Ssajjabi Katende and Moses Kakembo of Namumira Church of Uganda.

The group sued individual bishops over the decision claiming that they didn’t give a fair hearing to Rev. Canon Kasana even after he wrote to them asking for a review of the matter.

Through M/S Kibirango and Partners advocates, the Christians further contended that the Bishops unlawfully decided Kasana’s fate rather than the Diocese Tribunal.

They also asked the court to issue a permanent injunction re-electing another Bishop and instead order the Archbishop to consecrate as well as enthrone Kasana.

However, on Wednesday,  Ssendowooza told the media that they had resolved to withdraw the case from the court to promote unity and reconciliation in the Diocese. He said he and his colleagues agreed to withdraw the case for the benefit of Rev. Kasana to live in harmony within the diocese.

He said the withdrawal of the petition would pave the way for the consecration and enthronement  of Rev. Canon Wilson Kisekka as the fourth Bishop.

However, two petitioners Christopher Ssajjabi Katende and Moses Kakembo flanked by their lawyer,  Erastus Kibirango denied that they had agreed to withdraw the case from the court.

Katende and Kakembo said they are ready to pursue the case till the court determines it because they believe that the House of Bishops denied justice to Rev. Canon Kasana.

The two claim that Ssendowooza could have been compromised by the officials within the Diocese to withdraw the case to enable them to consecrate another Bishop.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Erastus Kibirango says that he intends to ask the court to amend the list of petitioners and replace the two with other Christians who are ready to pursue the case to conclusion.

Kibirango added that the withdrawal of two out of four petitioners doesn’t affect the entire case when other petitioners are ready to pursue it.

Kibirango said that they are waiting for the court to determine their application to block the consecration of the Bishop-elect, Wilson Kisekka.

Meanwhile, Lady Justice Henrietta Wolayo the Resident Judge of Luwero High Court pulled out of the case on March 11th, 2023 and forwarded the case to Principal Judge Flavian Zeija.

Justice Wolayo said that she is currently residing within the premises of the Diocese and is unable to preside over a dispute involving it.

Rev. Canon Kasana’s election was nullified after a section of Christians led by Kenneth R. Kikabi, a congregant at St. Mark’s petitioned Archbishop Kaziimba accusing Kasana of siring a child outside the wedlock in contravention of the Ten Commandments and canon laws.

On 6th March 2024, the House of Bishops sitting at Lweza Training and Conference Center elected Ven. Canon Wilson Kisekka as the Fourth Bishop of Luwero Diocese replacing retired Bishop Eridard Nsubuga Kironde.

Venerable Canon Wilson Kisekka will be consecrated and enthroned as Bishop of Luwero Diocese on Sunday 24th March 2024 at St Mark Cathedral a week after the tenure of caretaker Bishop James William Ssebaggala expires on 18th March this year.

Kisekka aged 53 years is archdeacon of Ndeeba Archdeaconry in Mukono Diocese



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