The woman who retired Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali was alleged to have had extra-marital affairs with, had sought to divorce her husband as recently as last month.
In documents filed at Kabale Chief Magistrate’s Court in the first week of December 2020, the woman (whose name we are holding for legal reasons), accused her husband, also a Church of Uganda priest, of cruelty.
The couple wed at Rugarama Cathedral in Kabale on December 15, 2018, according to papers filed in court, shortly after the reverend’s wife had passed on a few months earlier.
The matrimony was shrouded in controversy after the bride was linked to another man, an employee of a beverage company.
In the divorce petition, the woman alleges that her husband, the reverend, has “repeatedly been cruel and deserted” after solemnisation of their marriage.
She told court that as a result of being “assaulted on several occasions”, which matter she reported to police, she decided to stay alone in Mbarara town where she pays her house rent.
“The marriage is irretrievably broken down and your petitioner tried reconciliation with parents, friends and lawyers [and the efforts] yielded no result…wherefore, your petitioner humbly prays that this honourable court be pleased to order and decree that the marriage between the petitioner and respondent be dissolved,” the woman argues.
The court records do not indicate whether the accused husband filed a response or appeared in court in person or through an agent on December 15, 2020 as the Kabale Grade One Magistrate ordered.
We were unable to speak to the accused reverend and the woman as they were unreachable by telephone.
Court records show that the couple were also fighting over family property.
It is unclear if the cruelty of the husband, as alleged, chased the disconsolate woman into the warm embrace of the archbishop emeritus for counselling or whether the divorce petition was an afterthought after the complainant and the man of God were entangled in a love zone as alleged.
In a leaked January 13 letter, Church of Uganda Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba notified the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), a breakaway communion of Anglicans over homosexuality, that he had stopped his predecessor from performing sacraments, preaching and or representing the Church of Uganda.
Archbishop Kaziimba cited Ntagali’s sexual involvement with a married woman which the latter reportedly acknowledged.
We were unable to speak to Archbishop Emeritus Ntagali to ascertain veracity of the allegations since his known telephone numbers were switched off, and he was reported to be away from his home in Hoima City.
The reports of adultery, which gained wide traction on social media, left many Anglican bishops this newspaper interviewed in consternation and disbelief.
“If [the allegation] is true, that means sin is real and not debatable,” Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa of Ankole Diocese said.
He added: “Sin is inherent in all persons whether bishops or archbishop; it is certainly sad [and] regrettable. We pray that God helps the former archbishop to repent.”
In Kinkiizi, Bishop Dan Zoreka urged Christians not to relent with prayer and recognise that “everyone shall be held accountable for [their] actions”.
Bukedi Diocesen Bishop Samuel George Bogere Egesa said the allegation is “unbelievable”, especially that Ntagali appeared to have had an unblemished record as the 8th Church of Uganda Archbishop for nearly a decade to March last year when he handed over to Archbishop Kazimba.
Bishop George Turyasingura of the East Ruwenzori Diocese asked Christians not to despair because “salvation is personal and Satan fears no one”.