Kampala- There was heavy army and police deployment in Kasese District at the weekend as Msgr Francis Kibira was consecrated as Bishop of Kasese Catholic Diocese.
The Rt Rev Kibira became the second bishop of Kasese Diocese, replacing the Rt Rev Egidio Nkaijanabwo, 79, who has led the diocese since its inception in April 1989. Bishop Egidio Nkaijanabwo retired recently.
The concentration was held at Kasese Diocese grounds in Kasese Municipality.
President Museveni who was invited as chief guest, was represented by First Deputy Prime Minister Henry Muganwa Kajura.
The heavy deployment follows the deadly attacks on the Rwenzori districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko last week that left about 90 people dead and more than 100 attackers detained.
The consecration mass was presided over by the Archbishop of Mbarara Archdiocese His Grace Paul Bakyenga.
The mass was also attended by the Vatican representative to Uganda, Archbishop Michael Blume, Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala, the Archbishop of Kampala Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, and several bishops from Uganda.
However, speeches and sermons on the day focused on advocating for peace and love.
The chairperson of the Catholic Episcopal Conference, His Grace John Baptist Odama, condemned the recent attacks in Kasese, Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts.
Archbishop Odama said it was unfortunate that after the end of a 20-year insurgency of the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels in northern Uganda, there is still violence in some parts of Uganda.
“We thought that what happened with the LRA in northern Uganda should have been the last violence in this country. What has happened (in Rwenzori) is unfortunate and I convey, on behalf of the Episcopal conference, our condolences to those who lost relatives in the attacks,”Archbishop Odama said.
Mr Kajura said President Museveni was saddened by the attacks that occurred in the region on July 5.
He said efforts are underway to restore peace and stability.
Mr Kajura delivered a brand new Pajero which the President donated to the new bishop.
Defence minister Crispus Kiyonga advocated for the spirit of reconciliation and peaceful co-existence of the different ethnic groups in the Rwenzori region.
He, however, said despite the President announcing amnesty for those attackers still in hiding, there would still be thorough investigations.
In his maiden speech, Bishop Kibira called for active participation of everyone in the peace building process.
“Let us live and work together as humanity in front of God because our cultural differences do not matter. We may be from many tribes in Kasese but let us speak one language of Love,” he said.
Bishop Kibira told the clergy that he is not about to announce new appointments, emphasized the need for performance, transparency and accountability during his reign as the head of the Catholic Church in Kasese.
Bishop Kibira was born in 1958 in Kigoto village, Kamwenge District.
Before being appointed bishop of Kasese, Kibira was the Rector St Paul’s National Major Seminary Kinyamasika, Fort Portal Diocese.
Bishop Kibira studied Philosophy at Katigondo National Seminary1977-1980.
Between 1981 to 1984,he studied Theology at Ggaba National Major Seminary in 1987 to 1991,he studied licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Biblicum in Rome.
He became curate at Bukwali Catholic parish in Fort Portal Diocese in 1984, a post he held up to 1985.
He was posted as a teacher at Katigondo National Major Seminary since 1992 to date,he has been Lecturer of scriptures and biblical languages at St Paul Major Seminary, Kinyamasika.