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Northern Uganda Bishop Accused of Meddling in Laity Leadership

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According to Watum, the Bishop also dragged him before the Church tribunal on allegations of being a cult member. However, the tribunal has never heard the matter six months after.
22 Apr 2021 10:32
The outgoing Bishop of Northern Uganda Diocese Johnson Gakumba - Photo by Dominic Ochola

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The outgoing Bishop of the Northern Uganda Anglican Diocese, Johnson Gakumba is on the spot for alleged interference in the leadership of the laity. Trouble began in November last year when the Bishop nullified the re-election of Fred Watum as the Chairperson of the Laity for another four-year term on grounds of ungodly conduct.  

Watum emerged winner after defeating Rose Nyapolo, the Koro Sub County Woman Councilor in Omoro District and Moses Cik, the Commissioner in charge of Integrity in the Diocese. He protested the Bishop’s decision and accused him of influence peddling and disrespecting the decision of the laity by appointing Charles Onen as the chairperson of the laity. 

According to Watum, the Bishop also dragged him before the Church tribunal on allegations of being a cult member. However, the tribunal has never heard the matter six months after.

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Rev.  Geoffrey Loum, the Chairman House of Clergies in the Diocese who also doubles as Christ Church Parish Priest, says that they have scrutinized Watum’s conducts and found it derogatory to the church leadership. He says that Watum has been conducting unsupervised prayers at his home in violation of the norms under the Church of Uganda, an allegation Watum vehemently dismissed as slanderous.

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Gakumba dismissed the allegations of influence-peddling levelled against him by Watum, saying that the decision to nullify the November election was taken by the House of Bishops and House of the Clergies.

The row comes at a time when the Church of Uganda is in the process of instituting a board to oversee the appointment and the election of a new Bishop to replace Gakumba scheduled who is scheduled to retire in November.

Gakumba took over as Bishop of Northern Uganda Diocese in 2009 after replacing Bishop Nelson Onono Onweng.