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.
Court on Thursday remanded Mr Robert Asiimwe to Luzira Prison for allegedly murdering a catholic brother, Norbert Emmanuel Mugarura.
Asiimwe appeared before Nakawa Court Grade One Magistrate Fionah Angura, who remanded him until July 29, 2019 when he will return to court for further mention of the charges he is facing.
Prosecution alleges that Asiimwe on July, 2, 2019 at Banda B9 Zone in Nakawa Division, Kampala District with malice aforethought caused the death of Norbert Emmanuel Mugarura.
The Magistrate, however, advised Asiimwe not to take plea to the charges arguing that they are capital in nature and can only be tried in High Court.
The State Prosecutor Justine Feni told court that investigations into the matter are incomplete and asked court to remand the suspect.
Asiimwe was arrested two weeks ago by police in Banda following a tip off from a special hire garbage collector who had reportedly been hired by Asiimwe to carry some rubbish.
According to police, the rubbish which was at Asiimwe's home was the body of Mugarura, which was wrapped in a blue tarpaulin.
It is also alleged that Asiimwe recorded a statement admitting that he killed Mugarura in self-defence because the deceased was driving him into sexual acts.
The Special Investigations Department of Police has since taken over the investigations into this matter.
KYOTERA- “He was a true servant of God and even on the fateful day, death found him in the line of duty,” Brother Charles Dominic Kagoye, the spokesperson of Brothers of St Charles Lwanga, said as he eulogised their leader Norbert Emmanuel Mugarura yesterday.
Brother Mugarura, was the superior general of the Brothers of St Charles Lwanga, locally known as Bannakarooli Brothers of Kiteredde, Kyotera District, a Catholic institution started in 1927.
He had served in the position for barely 158 days having been elected on January 27.
Brother Mugarura headed all Bannakarooli Brothers globally including those in Kenya, Tanzania and the Jesuit community in Loyola University, Chicago, America.
He was murdered last Wednesday inside a room rented by Robert Asiimwe, a student. Asiimwe was arrested after the driver of a vehicle he had hired to reportedly collect garbage from his home at Kyambogo, became suspicious of the package that he was directed to take to a dumping site.
The driver tipped police, which established that the alleged garbage was a corpse, wrapped in tarpaulin.
The fallen priest is a former teacher of the prime suspect and he was the one paying his tuition at university.
Brother Mugarura was born on December 28, 1972, to Mr Essey Bakaishisha and Ms Generoza Katerere in Buyanja Village, Nyakibaare Parish in Kabale Diocese.
He started his education at Katojo Primary School (1981 to 1987) before joining St Gerald SS in 1988 to 1990. He later sat for his Uganda Certificate of Education exams in 1991 at Sacred Heart Kiteredde in Kyotera District.
Brother Mugarura joined the Bannakarooli Brothers in 1992 and became a postulant, who took his vows on January, 6 1995.
In 1995, he was posted to Bukalaji Primary School in Gomba District as a teacher.
He further joined Masaka Academy in 1997-1998 for his Advanced Level before enrolling at National Teachers College, Nkozi for Grade IV teaching certificate in 1999-2000.
He was then appointed head teacher of St Charles Lwanga SS, Mukumu in Kenya from 2001-2004.
He later returned to Uganda and pursued a Bachelor’s of Education in Science majoring in Mathematics and Economics at Uganda Martyrs University, Nkozi in 2005-2008.
In 2009, he joined his former school, Sacred Heart Kiteredde in Kyotera District as a teacher of Mathematics and Economics where his colleagues say he made a big difference in the students’ academic performance.
In 2013, Brother Mugarura was appointed head teacher of St Charles Lwanga Seminary, Kitabi in Bushenyi District. On January 27, he was elected superior general of the Bannakarooli Brothers. He becomes the first superior general to die while still serving. His body was last evening set to be laid to rest at Kiteredde in Kyotera District.
How we knew Mugarura was missing
According to Brother Kagoye, the deceased left Kiteredde in Kyotera District, for Kampala last Tuesday with Brother John Baali, for a special duty.
Among the places he was supposed to go to was Nsambya and Namugongo Brothers Community. The duo had a stopover at Uganda Catholic Social Training Centre, Rubaga, where the deceased was scheduled to meet Brother Simon Peter Nalintya over some programme, which he did. He also parked his car at the centre and left.
The superior general told them that he was going to Christ the King Church in Kampala and was to return to Rubaga later,” he narrates. Brother Nalintya, meanwhile, left for other engagements hoping to meet again that evening.
Brother Nalintya tried to call him [brother Mugarura] that evening between 9pm and 10pm but the superior general’s phone was not available. However, incidentally, the following day [last Wednesday] Brother Nalintya again tried to call him but no one answered the calls.
However, later on, a message followed, informing Brother Nalintya that he was busy and asked him [brother Nalintya] whether he could access a person at Rubaga Social Training Centre by the names of Maria.
By virtual of being superior general, Brother Kagoye says Brother Nalintya thought his boss was in a meeting and that is why he chose to communicate using text messages. Something was unusual because the messages were numerous.
Shortly after that, the phone went off.
So after, Brother Nalintya tried to connect with some of the brothers at Kiteredde, namely Brother Isidore Luyinda, the vicar, Brother Sales Ibanda, the bursar general, and the community members about the issue.
It is at this point that they got to know that Brother Mugarura was missing.
KYOTERA. The Bishop Emeritus of Masaka Diocese, Rt. Rev. John Baptist Kaggwa, has called for private investigations into the death of Brother Norbert Emmanuel Mugarura.
Brother Mugarura, 46, was the Superior General of Brothers of St Charles Lwanga, commonly known, as Bannakarooli Brothers of Kiteredde in Kyotera District.
He was murdered in cold blood last week inside a room rented by Robert Asiimwe. Although there were reports that Asiimwe is a student of Kyambogo University, the university says that while he had paid tuition fees, he had neither registered nor attended any lectures and is therefore not their student.
Asiimwe was arrested 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.
Speaking during a requiem mass at Kiteredde on Monday, Bishop Kaggwa said the circumstances under which Brother Mugarura died, leave many unanswered questions and as the church, they have to carry out their own investigations.
“The rate at which people are murdered in this country is so worrying; the killing of the superior general is a big blow to this community, and we cannot leave Police and other security organs to do it alone. We need to constitute a committee to dig deeper into this matter,” he said.
Bishop Kaggwa further urged people to live in harmony with one another and avoid acts of murder, fraud and treachery.
“Without us having forgiving hearts, we shall continue to see such bad acts even if the police and army are deployed everywhere. Let us have forgiving hearts within us so that these criminal incidents can cease to happen,” the prelate said.
The Bishop took a swipe at some priests and brothers who don’t follow the set rules of their institutions.
“Up to now, I am wondering what our late Superior General had gone do at Christ the King Church in Kampala without the knowledge of his colleagues. Why did he have to use a boda-boda, leaving his car parked at Rubaga? Why didn’t he sleep in Rubaga or Ggaba?” the Bishop wondered.
After Brother Mugarura’s burial ceremony, Bishop Kaggwa held a closed-door meeting with catholic priests which lasted for several hours. It was during this meeting that the Bishop expected to get firsthand information from the brothers who last spoke to the deceased.
According to Brother Charles Dominic Kagoye, it was after leaving Christ the King Church that the deceased’s telephone reportedly went off after Brother Simon Peter Nalintya received text messages indicating that he was busy.
There are also unconfirmed reports that the key suspect, Robert Asiimwe who reportedly attempted to pick the deceased’s car from Uganda Catholic Social Training Centre, Rubaga, could have wanted to use it to transport the body with the intention of faking an accident.
Asiimwe, along with 35 other students have been studying on sponsorship under the Bannakarooli Brothers.
Brother Kagoye says all the sponsored students are known by the Bannakalooli Brothers and that the sponsorship was not done by Brother Mugarura as an individual. He adds that Brother Mugarura is the first superior general among the Bannakarooli Brothers to die while still serving.
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.