Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, who died on April 2, will be laid to rest today inside Rubaga Cathedral. According to a post-mortem report from Mulago National Referral Hospital, the archbishop is said to have succumbed to Ischemic heart disease following coronary heart thrombosis. The prelate’s personal physician,Dr Andrew Ssekitoleko, explained this as a heart attack that is due to a blood clot that was found inside the artery that supplies blood to the heart.
The prelate has been mourned and eulogised by many, including President Museveni. The President, who ordered an official burial for the archbishop on Tuesday, said he did this because the prelate supported the National Resistance Army war, initiated local savings cooperatives for wealth creation and was one of the few clerics of his rank in the country. He was accorded a 17-gun salute during the official send-off at Kololo ceremonial grounds, an honour by Uganda’s millitary tradition reserved for fallen four-star generals. It was indeed an honour well-deserved.
Archbishop Lwanga has been lauded for numerous achievements. In their condolence message, the Uganda catholic lawyers Society said he taught the world to embrace the concepts of human invaluableness and that we should reflect on the moral values he promoted and held throughout his his life
However, Lwanga will particularly be remembered for the role he played in the redevelopment of the Uganda Martyrs Catholic shrine at Namugongo, fastracking the completion of Mapeera House and his fight against poverty by setting up income-generating projects such as Wakembe Sacco to improve the livelihoods of the faithful.
He had also embarked on building houses for priests, parish offices, rooms for pilgrims and retreats, had plans to purify the water at Namugongo Cathlic shrine and constructing a garden of prayer. He also envisioned establishing a 10,000 seater public arena and holy shrine for meditation and Bible study at Our Lady of peace (Kiwamirembe) at Nakigalala Hill on Entebbe road. Daily Monitor of April 7 in a story titled, “Tracing the works of Lwanga”, lists many more accomplishments of the prelate.
It did not go unnoticed that the prelate did not shy away from speaking about societal injustices and government excesses, something that many clergy do not have the audacity to do. He stood for the truth even when he knew that he would be criticised for speaking up. Needless to say, we need more leaders of this calibre in and outside the church whose faith reineforced by their good works. After all, faith without works is dead.
In all this, we are comforted that those who die in Christ shall resurrect. Fare-thee-well Archbishop Lwanga.
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