Breaking

Kumi Diocese Transition Process Splits Christians

Top story
During the handover of the founder Bishop of Kumi Diocese, Rt. Rev. Thomas Edson Irigei in December, the Archbishop, Stanley Ntagali told the congregation that the outcome of the investigations would be ready by February 1st.
Rev. Charles Okunya Oode, the bishop- elect of Kumi diocese.

Audio 2

Two camps have emerged in Kumi Diocese following the contention on the election of Rev. Charles Oode Okunya as the second Bishop.

Rev. Okunya was elected by the House of Bishops in November last year. However, two weeks to his consecration and enthronement, the same house issued communication halting Rev. Okunya’s consecration.

It later emerged that the bishop- elect had integrity issues including infidelity. The issues, contained in four petitions at the time, triggered an investigation spearheaded by three bishops including The Rt. Rev. George Kasangaki of Masindi-Kitara Diocese, The Rt. Rev. Samuel Bogere Egesa of Bukedi Diocese and The Rt. Rev. Patrick Gidudu of Mbale Diocese.

During the handover of the founder Bishop of Kumi Diocese, Rt. Rev. Thomas Edson Irigei in December, the Archbishop, Stanley Ntagali told the congregation that the outcome of the investigations would be ready by February 1st. 

He appealed for calm and asked Christians not to send any more petitions to the province to allow the team on the ground complete its findings. 

However, some Christians reportedly continued to send more petitions to the province. The two camps; for and against the bishop- elect started trading accusations over the woes surrounding the diocese. 

At St. Phillips Cathedral in Ngora district, only a handful of Christians attended the second service on Sunday. Most of the communication from church leaders and some Christians in attendance demanded answers from the parish priest on the fate of the new bishop. 

URN has learnt that the number of Christians going to church is reducing each day as members are embroiled in conflict.

None of the Christians available was willing to speak on record to our reporter for fear of being sidelined by other members of the church. But their unison view pointed at the clergy, some key persons in the diocese and political interference. 

“Rev. Okunya is an open minded person and doesn’t compromise on any form of misdeed in his work. Here in Kumi diocese, there’s a clique of people, who have been mismanaging church property and have formed alliances with shortsighted leaders including selfish Christians to deny Rev. Okunya his calling. They fear for their jobs especially among the clergy. Unfortunately, the province seems to be siding with them”, one of the Christians, who preferred anonymity said. 

Rt. Rev. Irigei, the retired Bishop of Kumi diocese told our reporter that politics and individual interests had entered and interfered with the transition. 

// cue in “You know there is…

Cue out…I’m not happy”//

Rev. Can. George William Ongeng, the Provincial Secretary told our reporter that the Bishop- elect has been rejected by the House of Bishops due to his age. 

He noted that Rev. Okunya was yet to attain the required age for one to be elected bishop. When asked about the earlier allegations and petitions against Rev. Okunya, the provincial secretary declined to comment and refered our reporter to the Kumi Diocesan Chancellor, Emma Ilukor.

//Cue in “The issue of age…

Cue out…45 years”//

Ilukor also declined to comment claiming that he had not been served with any communication regarding the outcome of the investigations on the Bishop- elect. 

Kumi Diocese has not been able to have a new bishop since August last year, when the search was launched due to conflicts in the church. Both politicians and the clergy have vested interests in all the candidates that appear for vetting.