The outgoing Bishop of
South Rwenzori Diocese Jackson Nzerebende Thembo says he is retiring a happy
man after 17-years of service. Nzerebende is set to retire on December 3, from the helm of the diocese he took over in 2003.
exclusive interview with URN at his residence in Kamaiba Hill, Kasese
municipality, Bishop Nzerebende described his tenure as a spirit fulfilling
journey with many lessons that are common in any kind of leadership. He said that he is living behind “a spirit-filled, spirit-led and thriving diocese”.
Bishop Nzerebende is proud of designing strategies for the
implementation of a 15-year development plan that is ending with his
tenure. Under the development plan, the Diocese developed the liturgy,
opened networks with innumerable theological institutions to guard the faith
and translated the gospel in simple terms.
The diocese also recruited,
trained and equipped a number of persons for the varying aspects of the
ministry. The Diocese has also
been supporting lay readers to upgrade in their theological knowledge and
Bishop Nzerebende profoundly speaks about the restoration
of the second letter evangelists as a key milestone in his service. Second letter
preachers are in charge of household ministries. Bishop Nzerebende reveals that
he prepared 37 clergies, one of whom has been picked to succeed him.
//Cue in; “We took
Cue out...ministry in other areas.”//
According to the Bishop, he also lobbied for the increase of vehicles in the
diocese from 6 to 50 to facilitate the work of the diocese. He also leaves
behind enhanced church revenues that have in turn improved the remuneration of
Currently, the Bishop earns 1.5 million Shillings from 450,000
Shillings he earned by the time he took office, as his monthly emoluments. Priests earn 600,000 Shillings from between 160,000 to 260,000 they earned17-years ago.
The Diocese has also put up a clear auditing system to account for Church funds and
a pension project for retired clergy and lay readers. Bishop Nzerebende
also says that they have managed to attract professionals over the last 17
years and established professional fellowships.
//Cue in; “They form what….
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However, the Bishop is
leaving behind uncompleted projects. He notes that the 25,000 capacity Church project
remains a key desire for the diocese. This is on top of other ongoing
construction projects across the diocese.
//Cue in; “Picked so
Cue out…documented are there.”//
Bishop Nzerebende described his successor Nason Baluku as a talented
man who was trained well for the job. He disclosed that a wave of satisfaction went through him when Baluku was selected to succeed him.
//Cue in; “Am very
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Bishop Nzerebende said
he is retiring to practice community tourism in Kasese and denied claims that he
was set to join politics. He said local politics is packed with lies and
hatred that he can’t advise any clergy to participate directly.
//Cue in; “I Am
interested in community…
Cue out….but not a politician.”//
Bishop Nzerebende retires with a heavy over the demolition of St Peter's Church in Ndeeba in Kampala, which he says is a result of weakness on the part of the
judicial system that often neglects the principle of negotiation.
also asks the government to take interest in the Kasese land conflicts that have
remained a huge threat to the unity and social development of the region.