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House of Bishops orders fresh nomination for Luwero Bishop seat

The banner for Consecration of Rev.Canon Godfrey Kasana Ssemakula hanging at entrance of St Mark Cathedral Cathedral in Luwero town. Election of Kasana was nullified by House of bishops on wednesday. URN_photo

Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The House of Bishops has ordered fresh nominations following the nullification of the election of Rev. Canon Godfrey Kasana Ssemakula as the 4th Bishop of Luwero Diocese.

According to the statement released on Friday by the Provincial Secretary of the Church of Uganda, Rev. Canon William Ongeng, the House of Bishops sitting at Kabalega Resort Hotel in Hoima on 28th June 2023 resolved to nullify the elections of Rev. Canon Kasana Ssemakula.

Rev.Canon Ongeng said that the extraordinary decision was taken after getting credible information that the Bishop-elect’s integrity was misrepresented during the nomination and election process, which invalidated the election.

He added that the House of Bishops has ordered fresh nominations from the Diocesan Nominations Committee within a period of one month, ending 31st July 2023.

The statement indicates that the House of Bishops will receive fresh nominations for the next Bishop of Luwero and elect on 1st August 2023.

The consecration and enthronement of the 4th Bishop of Luwero is scheduled on Sunday, 6th August 2023, at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Luwero town.

The Statement further indicates that Right. Rev. Eridard Nsubuga, current Bishop of Luwero Diocese, will abdicate on Sunday, 9th July 2023 upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 and hand over ecclesiastical authority to the Archbishop, per the Constitution and Canons of the Church of Uganda.

“We regret the immediate impact this decision will have on Luwero Diocese as well as on the Bishop-elect and his family. We continue to pray for both, and assure you that the resolution of this matter is our highest priority” the statement reads.

Rev. Can. Godfrey Kasana Ssemakula was elected on March 27, 2023, as the fourth Bishop of Luwero to succeed Bishop Nsubuga.

Bishop-elect Kasana Ssemakula was supposed to be consecrated and enthroned on July 16, 2023, at St. Mark’s Cathedral, in Luwero Town Council.

However, a section of Christians led by Kenneth R. Kikabi, a congregant at St. Mark’s petitioned the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu demanding the nullification of the election accusing Kasana of siring children outside the wedlock during the priesthood in contravention of ten commandments and canon laws.

They also alleged that the nomination committee which selected two candidates where Rev. Kasana emerged as bishop-elect was unlawfully constituted and corrupted.

This is the second time the nominations are held for the election of Luwero Bishop.

In March this year, Kikabi through a petition forced the Church of Uganda to nullify the nomination of Abel Sserwanja Merewooma, the parish priest of St Stephens’ Church Kireka in Namirembe Diocese who had been selected as a candidate in the same race.

The church concurred with Kikabi who successfully argued that Merewooma had not served 10 years as a priest to be elected as bishop as enshrined in canon law.