Church of Uganda Calls For Heightened Security As Luwero Bishop Abdicates

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The leadership of the Church of Uganda (CoU) has called for increased security measures ahead of and during the abdication ceremony of Rt. Rev. Eridard Kironde Nsubuga, the retiring Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Luwero.

After reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 years for an Anglican Prelate, Bishop Nsubuga is scheduled to retire and hand over the instruments of power today at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Luwero Town Council, Luwero District.

In a July 7, 2023 letter, addressed to Bishop Nsubuga from Rev. Canon William Ongeng, the Provincial Secretary, says a team from the Office of the Archbishop will be attending the Abdication Service, which will commence at 10:00 am. He requests Bishop Nsubuga to contact the relevant security authorities in his jurisdiction to be on high alert due to potential threats.

“In light of the current situation and to prevent any unforeseen circumstances arising from certain Christians who disagree with the decision taken by the House of Bishops, we kindly ask you to inform the Luwero District Resident District Commissioner (RDC), who is in charge of security in the district, to take decisive action to ensure the security of the Christians on Sunday,” part of Canon Ongeng’s letter to Bishop Nsubuga reads.

In the same letter, which was copied to the Archbishop, the Savannah Regional Police Commander (RPC), the Luwero District Police Commander (DPC), the Luwero Resident District Commissioner (RDC), the Provincial Chancellor, the Diocesan Secretary of Luwero Diocese, and the Provincial Treasurer, Canon Ongeng tasks the local security authorities with ensuring security during the Abdication Service.

“We are also informing the Savannah Regional Police Commander and the Luwero District Police Commander through this letter, urging them to take vigilant steps to ensure the security of the team and the Christians who will attend the Abdication Service,” the letter further states.

The request for heightened security comes in response to threats. On Friday, Christians held prayers at St. Mark’s Cathedral and processions across the Luwero town council, demanding the consecration of disqualified Rev. Canon Godfrey Kasana Ssemakula as the fourth bishop of Luwero Diocese.

Rev. Canon Ssemakula was disqualified on June 30, 2023, on the grounds that his integrity was misrepresented during the nomination and election process, rendering the election invalid according to an official statement. A message circulating on social media platforms is rallying disgruntled Christians who contest the disqualification of Canon Ssemakula to gather in large numbers at St. Mark’s Cathedral.

They are urged to arrive earlier at 9:00 am to have a meeting with Bishop Nsubuga. The mobilizing message states that they intend to request Bishop Nsubuga, between 9:00 am and 10:00 am before the start of the Abdication Service, not to hand over the Pastoral staff until their concerns as Christians are addressed.

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