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Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda Retires :: Uganda Radionetwork

Fr. Gaetano Batanyenda Retires

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The 80-year-old celebrated a thanksgiving event on Sunday at the parish headquarters in Kashambya sub-county, Rukiga district.
Priests and leaders cutting cake with Rev.Fr.Gaetano Batanyenda as he retires from active service (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

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Rev. Fr. Gaenato Batanyenda, the Kitanga parish priest in Kabale Diocese, has retired from active priesthood after 50 years of dedicated service. The 80-year-old celebrated a thanksgiving event on Sunday at the parish headquarters in Kashambya sub-county, Rukiga district.

During the service, Monsignor Vianney Sunday, Vicar General of Kabale Diocese, revealed that Rev. Fr. Marious Byamukama would assume the role of parish priest in place of Fr. Batanyenda. Byamukama acknowledged the challenges of administration but praised Fr. Batanyenda's visible achievements. He also mentioned that Rev. Fr. Byaruhanga would assist in monitoring Fr. Batanyenda's health until his last journey.

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Gad Owaruhanga, Chairman of the Kitanga parish council, and Alineo Bandaganiire, Kashambya sub-county LC3 Chairman, highlighted Batanyenda's legacy of establishing four schools in hard-to-reach areas of the parish and subsequently handing them over to the government, thus extending education services closer to the communities.

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James Musinguzi Garuga, a businessman based in Kanungu, along with Wilfred Niwagaba, the MP for Ndorwa East County, and Roland Bish Ndyomugenyi, the MP for Rukiga County, praised Batanyenda for not only preaching the Gospel but also promoting a saving culture among the public. They commended his establishment of the Rukiga Savings and Credit Cooperative Society as instrumental in fostering this culture and acknowledged his efforts in fighting against corruption, though noting that he retired amidst persisting challenges with corruption.

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Pizzi Antonio, an Italian volunteer under the pastoral care of the Comboni Missionaries, recounted meeting Rev. Fr. Batanyenda in September 1983. Batanyenda appealed for help in establishing a health unit at Kitanga Catholic Church to extend health services to the local population. With the aid of the Comboni Missionaries, the parish succeeded in establishing a Health Centre III.

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In his speech, Batanyenda appealed to all well-wishers for a happy retirement to support his successor in continuing the parish's development. He explained that he requested retirement from the office of the Kabale Diocesan Bishop due to health complications and expressed his desire to be buried at Kitanga parish upon his passing.

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Despite his affiliation with the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, Rev. Fr. Batanyenda is known for publicly criticizing President Yoweri Museveni for alleged failures in combating corruption and advocating for constitutional amendments.

Rev. Fr. Batanyenda was born on December 24, 1944, to Anantoli Tabwendero and Enfrazia Nyakweshe in Makiro parish, then under the pastoral care of the Comboni Missionaries. He began his primary education at Rutenga Primary School in Rutenga sub-county, Kanungu district, in 1957. He pursued further studies in seminaries, including St. Paul’s Seminary Kabale and Ggaba National Seminary, before serving in various parishes throughout his priesthood tenure.