CoU Elects Ven Canon Moses Banja as the 6th Bishop of Namirembe Diocese


The House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda has made a significant decision today by electing Ven. Canon Moses Banja as the 6th Bishop of Namirembe Diocese. The announcement, made at St Stephen’s Cathedral Naluwerere in East Busoga Diocese, marks a pivotal moment for the Diocese.

Ven Canon Moses Banja, born on 20th October 1964 in Nakabugo Bbira, Busiro, embraced Christianity on 3rd December 1989 and has since dedicated himself to the Church. Ordained in 1996 and priested in 1998, he brings extensive experience and commitment to his new role.

He is married to Rev. Canon. Prof. Olivia Nassaka Banja, a notable figure as the current (first female) Vice Chancellor of Ndejje University. The couple is blessed with three children.

Educationally, Ven Canon Moses Banja holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Divinity and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from Makerere University. He presently serves as the Archdeacon of Luzira Archdeaconry in Namirembe Diocese.

However, Banja’s election follows a wave of controversy surrounding the nomination process. Barely a month ago, the nomination committee, led by Fredrick Mpanga, put forward two candidates—The Rev. Moses Banja and the Rev. Abraham Muyinda—for consideration, which elicited dissent from elders and certain committee members.

Allegations arose regarding the nomination process, with elders expressing concern over Mpanga’s unilateral selection of Banja and Muyinda without due vetting or election as stipulated by the law. They claimed only a fraction of the committee endorsed these nominations, highlighting a divergence in the selection committee’s viewpoints.

This rift resulted in the formation of a committee of five Bishops, along with the provincial chancellor, tasked with investigating the claims raised by the dissatisfied members. The inquiry aimed to examine the validity of the nominations and their adherence to established canons and qualifications for bishopric.

The elders accused the lawyer of circumventing canonical laws, particularly concerning academic qualifications, and raised concerns over Muyinda’s candidacy, stating that he hadn’t originally applied for the bishop position.

The disagreement delayed the election process initially, leading to a deferral by the House of Bishops in Namirembe Diocese. However, amidst the unresolved discord, the names of Banja and Muyinda were ultimately submitted to Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba for consideration.

This appointment signifies a turning point for Namirembe Diocese but is shadowed by the preceding dispute and allegations, reflecting the complexities within the Church’s internal processes.

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