Christians threaten action on Ntagali over new Bishop

Stanley Ntagali

What you need to know:

Cry foul. The faithful claim the names of the two nominees from West Ankole Diocese were referred back to the diocese without a justified reason.


About 200 Christians have petitioned Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, protesting what they called delayed election of a new bishop of West Ankole Diocese by the House of Bishops.

The Christians led by Mr Zeddy Byakyaro, Mr Andrew Twinamatsiko and Mr Phillip Murwani, said the House of Bishops elected new bishops for the dioceses of Bunyoro Kitara and West Buganda on June 1 but did not elect the bishop of West Ankole.
They say the names of the candidates were referred back to the diocese without a justified reason.

The nominees include Rev Can Amos Turyahabwe, the chaplain of St Francis Chapel Makerere University, and Rev Canon William Twinamatsiko, the Archdeacon of All Saints Church Bushenyi.

Through their legal adviser, Kangaho and Co. Advocates, the Christians wrote a petition, which Sunday Monitor saw on Thursday, to Archbishop Ntagali informing him of their intention to sue.

“We, therefore, demand to know why you refused to elect a bishop for West Ankole Diocese from the two names that were forwarded to you, who had passed the criteria considered for the post of bishop in the Church of Uganda,” the letter reads in part.

“We... demand that a new bishop be elected from the two persons nominated by the nominations committee and if there is any reason that does not allow you to do so, communicate it to the Christians and proceed to conduct fresh nominations and come up with the right candidate that will be elected bishop of West Ankole Diocese,” the letter adds.

The group said they would not accept the proposal of a caretaker bishop when there are competent and qualified persons in the diocese.

Last week, the House of Bishops chaired by Archbishop Ntagali at Lweza Training and Conference Centre in Wakiso District, rejected the two nominees.
Sources who attended the Lweza conference said the duo could not be considered for selection because of the court injunction from a faction of dissenting Christians from Sheema District who have been at loggerheads with retiring Bishop Yona Katoneene.

Mr Willis Bashaasha, the former Bushenyi chairperson, told Sunday Monitor on Thursday that the diocese had looked forward to election of the new bishop as a uniting and stabilising factor but their will had been suppressed.
“What is being done is an insult to the potential candidates. The issues being raised by some Christians about the Synod were cleared sometime back by His Grace Ntagali and we have just been waiting to have our new bishop. We cannot allow a caretaker bishop because we have our names [candidates] already,” he said.