By Pascal Kwesiga & Juliet Lukwago
Christians have prayed for Bishop Deogratias Muganwa Byabazaire of Hoima Catholic diocese who died Saturday morning.
Byabazaire, who has been ill for the last six years, breathed his last at Nsambya hospital, a few hours after returning from India where doctors had discharged him to recover from home.
His body was wheeled into Nsambya hospital chapel with a procession of nurses and priests from Hoima and Kampala.
Byabazaire left Hoima diocese six years ago after suffering from hydrocephalus (cerebrospinal fluid in the cavities of the brain), a mild stroke and diabetes.
According to doctors, cerebrospinal fluid build-up can lead to convulsions and, at worst, brain damage.
Former pope Benedict XVI in 2009 deployed Lambert Bainomugisha from Mbarara diocese as the apostolic administrator for Hoima catholic diocese after ill-health rendered Byabazaire incapable of discharging his priestly duties.
Byabazaire, who has been bishop for about 25 years, is a brother to the first deputy prime minister and minister of public service Henry Muganwa Kajura.
He has died at the age of 72.
At the time of his brother’s death, minister Kajura was attending an on-going NRM retreat in Kyankwanzi while Hoima diocese’s apostolic administrator Lambert Bainomugisha was in Switzerland.
Rev Father Mathias Baguma who presided over the requiem mass said: “Our bishop has done his job well. He never wanted to lose anyone in his mission. He attended to his flock without reservation as Jesus did. We thank the Lord who have us this bishop.”
His other brother, Leonald Muganwa, said Byabazaire had significantly improved when he was discharged by doctors in New Delhi.
“Although he could not talk, he was able to move his hands. Upon reaching home at around 2am [Saturday], his nurse tried to take his pressure but the machine didn’t give any results. His blood pressure was low and the heart had stopped beating,” he said.
Doctors at Nsambya hospital tried to resuscitate the dying bishop, but he gave in to the fight at about 5am local time.
Another requiem mass will held in Kampala before the body is transferred to Hoima for burial.