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.
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
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
// 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.