The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, has criticized Christians in the Luwero Anglican diocese for suing him over the nullification of Rev. Canon Godfrey Kasana Ssemakula’s election as their fourth bishop.
A group of Christians led by David Lule Mutyaba Muzzanganda petitioned the High Court to challenge the nullification of Rev. Ssemakula’s election. On June 28th, 2023, the House of Bishops, sitting at Kabalega Resort Hotel in Hoima, decided to nullify his election after receiving credible information that his integrity was misrepresented during the nomination and election process.
The petitioners argue that the House of Bishops lacks the authority to try ecclesiastical offenses, as such matters fall under the jurisdiction of the Diocese and Provincial tribunals according to the constitution and canon law. They also contend that Kasana was not given a fair hearing before the decision to nullify his election was made, thus violating principles of natural justice.
The complainants want the court to declare Rev. Canon Kasana Ssemakula as the fourth elected Bishop of Luwero Diocese and order his consecration. They further request a permanent order restraining the House of Bishops from electing another person as the fourth Bishop of Luwero Diocese and declare that the nullification of Rev. Canon Kasana was illegal.
Speaking to journalists moments after confirming a number of children at St James Church at the Makerere University Business School (MUBS)-Nakawa in Kampala on Sunday, Archbishop Kaziimba Mugalu expressed concerns about potential complications that could arise during crucial ceremonies, such as the installation of a new bishop if an Archbishop is taken to court.
He urged the aggrieved Christians to carefully consider the impact of their actions and emphasized the importance of respecting leadership, which he believes comes from God. As an interim measure, Right Reverend James William Ssebaggala, the retired Bishop of Mukono Diocese, has assumed the position of caretaker of Luwero Diocese for eight months.
This follows a request by the nomination committee for an extension of time to nominate new candidates for the bishop’s seat after the nullification of Rev. Ssemakula’s election. Archbishop Kaziimba Mugalu called on the disgruntled Christians to work with the caretaker of Luwero Diocese until a new Bishop is elected. He emphasized the importance of respecting leaders and advised Christians to carefully consider their actions in such matters.