Five months since the death of Brother Nobert Emmanuel Mugarura, the Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga in Kiteredde, Kyotera District who are commonly known as Banakarooli Brothers, on Tuesday elected a new superior general to head the congregation.
About 200 Brothers from different parts of the country in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and USA converged at Kiteredde to elect the new superior general. However, only 50 Brothers were eligible to vote.
The exercise was conducted in the presence of both the Masaka Diocesan Bishop Rev. Fr. Severus Jjumba and his predecessor Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa.
The reigning Bishop serves as the overseer of the congregation and always guides the Brothers.
Under the rules governing the Banakarooli Brothers congregation, a superior general is elected alongside three councilors and a Vicar general who performs his duties in the Superior’s absence.
The new councilors include; Rev. Bro Vincent Ferrior Musoke, Rev Bro Charles Kagoye and Rev. Bro. John Fisher Kasumba while Rev. Bro. Izdol Luyinda will serve as the Vicar General.
Mr Hillary Kazoora was then elected supreme and overall leader of the congregation.
Mr Kazoora was elected in absentia as he was reported to be out of the country.
However, Mr Kagoye, the spokesperson of the congregation told Daily Monitor that Mr Kazoora accepted to serve them.
“When our Superior-elect received the news from the Bishop on a phone call, he did not hesitate at all despite knowing that he was to carry a cross of leading us,” he said.
Mr Kagoye said the installation of the superior general will be communicated and done as soon as he returns from Kenya where he went on officials.
The congregation has been run by Rev. Bro. Luyinda as the acting Superior General since July this year.
Mr Mugarura, 46, was allegedly murdered by his former student Robert Asiimwe in a room his rented room in Kireka-Bbanda, a Kampala city suburb on July 2 this year.
Although there were earlier reports that Asiimwe is a student of Kyambogo University, the university later clarified that while Asiimwe had paid tuition fees, he had neither registered nor attended any lectures and is therefore not their student.
Asiimwe was arrested a few days after the driver of a vehicle he had hired to reportedly collect garbage, from his home at Banda, became suspicious of the package that he was directed to take to a dumping site.
The driver tipped police who established that the alleged garbage was a corpse, wrapped in tarpaulin.
The new leaders were announced by Bishop Jjumba during a special Mass at Kateredde on Tuesday.
In his preaching, Bishop Jjumba urged the elected leaders to be firm and focused during their term of office.
“You are steering this ship [Banakarooli congregation] from the teeth of waves and remember, the ship is vast and deep. However, stay firm because however much you may be stricken, you were not destroyed,” he preached.
How elections are conducted
The whole exercise of electing leaders of Banakarooli Brothers begins after getting confirmation from the Pope through the diocesan Bishop that elections should be conducted.
The Brothers then converge at Kiteredde and they are given names from whom they choose who to become the superior general.
After electing the Superior general, the Brothers then elect the councilors whom the leader of the congregation is to work with as his assistants during his tenure.
If one is not sure whether he will manage the position given to him, one is given eight days to think about it and also make consultations among the elders then give a feedback to the person who presided over the elections.
Who is a Superior General?
A Superior General is the leader of all Bannakarooli Brothers in Uganda and elsewhere in the world.
He handles all administrative issues within the organisation.
He is entitled to allocate the Brothers where they should be to perform their duties in the community.
He is also the overseer of all organs of the Bannakarooli.
The congregation of Bannakarooli Brothers started way back in 1927 by the "White fathers." The first Chapter was convened in 1955 consisting of 18 members. The institution has in its history had nine Superior Generals and Mr Kazoora becomes the 10th.