Majority bishops cleared Okunya consecration - Report

Thursday August 05 2021
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Subject of investigation, Rev Charles Oode Okunya(L), head of probe team, Rt Rev Patrick Gidudu(c) and probe team member, Rt Rev Samuel GB Egesa. PHOTO/FILE

By Simon Peter Emwamu

Majority of bishops found no grounds for blocking the consecration of the Rev Charles Oode Okunya as next bishop of Kumi Diocese, a report has revealed.

The January 2020 report by a select committee of bishops appointed to probe allegations against the Rev Okunya indicated that only two of 13 bishops opposed his consecration.

According to the report, Rt Rev Patrick Gidudu, the team leader, and members Rt Rev Samuel GB Egesa, and Rev George W.Kasangaki, considered five allegations.

These included extra-marital affairs, contradicting date of birth, venue where his marriage was solemnised, allegations of siring children  outside marriage and issues of mismanagement.

The committee was instituted following a meeting at Boroboro, Lango Diocese on December 14, 2019 by the House of Bishops after a petition challenging Rev Okunya’s consecration.

The House of Bishops had earlier in November 2019 appointed Rev Okunya as bishop-elect. 

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However, his appointment was revoked last year following a petition by a section of Christians.
The report exonerated Rev Okunya on all the grounds raised in the petition.

The committee said they had talked to  Ms Dinah Amongin, who was accused of having an extra-marital affair with the reverend. 

She indicated that they had children but were not officially married, and this was also adduced to by her father.

Birth claims
The report also confirmed that the allegation of his date of birth was also addressed and solved in statutory declaration that Rev Okonya was born on November 23, 1970 not  November 23, 1975 as indicated in the petition.

It added that the certificate of birth indicated that Okunya was born on November 23, 1970.

On allegations of marriage to his wife Christine Kedi, the committee indicated that although the marriage was not conducted in church, the marriage was blessed by Rt Rev Thomas Edison Irigei, and also witnessed by late Bishop for Soroti Diocese Geresem Ilukor. The committee also attached a holy certificate of marriage.

“About allegations of other children,” the report said there was no proof of evidence as alleged.

On mismanagement  of diocese project

The probe team also indicated that Rev Okunya’s opponents also raised concern on alleged mismanagement of the diocesan projects and lack of accountability for funds in the department of education. 

“However, there was no proof on these allegations and the bishop-elect clarified on this allegation in our separate meeting with him,” the members stated.

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