Muhabura Diocese lifts ban on Muganza C.O.U

The controversy stemmed from a donation of roofing iron sheets to the church in November 2017.

Kabale: The Diocese of Muhabura has taken a significant step by lifting the ban that was previously imposed on the Muganza Church of Uganda.

This decision comes after Muganza Parish allegedly received a donation of iron sheets from King Tycoon Caesar Augustine Mulenga, the Vietnamese Consular General, against the orders of the then Bishop of Muhabura Diocese, Rt Rev. Cranmer Mugisha.

The history behind this ban dates back to 2018, when the Diocesan Synod, led by Bishop Cranmer Mugisha, suspended Muganza Church of Uganda due to its perceived “unwanted” ties with businessman King Caesar Mulenga.

The controversy stemmed from a donation of roofing iron sheets to the church in November 2017.

A subsequent court battle ensued, with the Muhabura Diocese suing Mulenga and the current Bufumbira South legislator, Eng. Alex Niyonsaba Seruganda, for allegedly “fueling conflicts in the Diocese.”

The Diocesan Registered Trustees, under Bishop Cranmer Mugisha’s leadership, filed a lawsuit against Mulenga and Niyonsaba, claiming that the synod had resolved that no church should accept donations from Mulenga.

However, the court case was eventually dismissed without costs, leading the Muhabura Diocese to suspend the Muganza Church of Uganda. This decision left Christians uncertain, prompting the emergence of a new church called Muganza B Church of Uganda as an alternative.

In a recent development, the Bishop of the Diocese of Muhabura, Rev. Godfrey Mbitse, has reinstated Muganza Church of Uganda as a parish under Seseme Archdeaconry within the Muhabura Diocese.

During the closing of a two-day synod meeting at Seseme Girls’ Secondary School, Rev. Mbitse emphasized the importance of reconciliation within the diocese. It appears that the time is ripe for healing and unity in this religious community.

Bishop Mbitse’s recent announcement during the synod meeting brings hope and reconciliation to the Muganza Church of Uganda. After a prolonged period of withdrawal, the parish is set to regain its status and receive a priest.

This decision signifies the restoration of Eucharistic and Holy Matrimony services within Muganza Parish, alleviating the need for lower churches to travel to St. Andrew’s Seseme Cathedral for these sacraments.

Rev. Sam Ziita, Head Teacher of Muganza Primary School and a Synod member, expressed joy at this reconciliatory milestone. The decision has brought immense happiness to fellow Christians and those affiliated with lower churches.

The Synod meeting also addressed other crucial matters, including the advancement of education standards, the elevation of Rutaka HCIII and Porter’s Village to Health Centre IV status, and the completion of the Iryaruvumba Eye Clinic.

Additionally, the new cathedral, currently in the roofing stage, remains a priority on the agenda.

This synod gathering holds particular significance as it marks the first since Bishop Mbitse’s enthronement as Bishop of Muhabura Diocese in April of last year. The Diocese moves forward with renewed purpose and unity, guided by the spirit of reconciliation.

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