The sudden demise of Kampala Archbishop Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga came as a shock to many due to its timing.
Coming just a day to the Easter celebrations, and having taken part the way of the cross event just a day prior, no any other way would be described as more shocking.
Lwanga’s outspokenness against what he believed was wrong always is what will be hailed about him for years or decades to come.
Throughout his service to the catholic church, the fallen Bishop is remembered for non tolerance to evil. At the peak of the rampant murders of women, he vehemently challenged the government and then police Chief Gen. Edward Kale Kayihura to provide answers that would bring and end to the ugly vice. And this was just one of the many occasions.
Last year, as the country was preparing for the January 14 general elections, the cleric fearlessly vented his displeasure with the Electoral Commission organising an election under the prevailing circumstances which he argued were not ideal for the exercise.
He thus suggested calling off the elections which were just over a month due. He said Parliament would agree to extend President Museveni’s term three years ahead and save the country from the risks elections would come with.
“A few days ago, our top leadership of UJCC to which I am the current Chairman, discussed this current entire sad situation at length and we came up with a resolution that we should postpone the presidential elections for at least three years to allow both the Covid-19 pandemic and the electoral climate to cool down and also create a favourable political and social environment which will enhance peaceful free and fair elections. This is a debatable proposition that we call upon the Parliament to discuss objectively,” the late Archbishop noted.
“We know the constitution says if elections are postponed, the Speaker of Parliament takes over the government. Article 259 of the Constitution allows Parliament to amend laws. We are asking Parliament to sit down and amend the constitution to allow President Museveni to continue ruling and guiding the country during three-year postponement of the election,” he added.
The words of the cleric unreasonably rubbed many opposition supporters the wrong way. Many christened him a regime agent who had sold out his soul to the “dictatorship” in exchange for material aggrandizement.
In his own words, Dr Lwanga lamented on how he had endured the wrath of pro opposition cyber assassins who had branded him a regime agent on top of accusing him of plotting to assassinate then National Unity Platform leader Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.
“There is too much misuse of social media, too much fake news. People were on social media spreading lies, abusing me, and saying all sorts of things that I have been bought (by Museveni). If you ask such people to provide proof, they can never get it. I ask you to use social media to say the truth, avoid spreading fake news,” Lwanga said while delivering his Christmas homily at Rubaga Cathedral last year.
“Certain people on social media are accusing me and other religious leaders of harboring ill intentions against Bobi Wine. One of them even called me and said that religious leaders want to kill Bobi Wine by poisoning the hostia (Eucharist bread). These people have apparently asked Bobi Wine to stop taking holy communion in church or not pray in certain churches for such a reason. Can you imagine.”
And now in death, the vigour with which the same group who accused him of being “an agent of the devil” have ironically rushed to own him and at the same time accusing the same ” devil” for being behind the death is alarming.
While attending the requiem mass at Lubaga early this week, Opposition Leader Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu hailed the deceased’s selfless service to humanity and called for an investigation into his suspicious death.
The former presidential candidate claimed that the cleric could have fallen prey of the state’s repressive hand for his outspokenness against the ills of his society.
Just like Bobi Wine, four time presidential candidate Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye had been quick to apprehend the state for an alleged role in the fallen Bishop’s death before suddenly making a U turn with a public apology.
The pretentious actions of the men leading the country’s opposition would be ignorable only if one had a brain unable to remember how the departed’s reputation was muddied by the hostile men and women from their camps who furiously branded him ” clergy who sold his flock to the wolf!”
As for Bobi Wine, a catholic and a Muganda, it is even ridiculous he could pretend to grieve with the rest for the man whose head his uncontrollable supporters were asking for just a few months ago.
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