Rev. Fr. Dr. Pius Male (left), Fr Emmanuel Sita (C) and Fr Rihard Nnyombi (R) pose with the portrait of late Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka after the press briefing at Rubaga Cathedral. (Mathias M)
Mathias Mazinga
Journalist @New Vision

CATHOLICS | BEN | KIWANUKA

KAMPALA - Tomorrow (Thursday, September 22, 2022), all roads lead to Rubaga Cathedral for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Benedicto Kiwanuka, the former Chief Justice of Uganda, who was kidnapped and later murdered during the reign of President Idi Amin Dada in 1972. (Photo by Mathias Mazinga)

The memorial mass at 1:00pm will be presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio Emeritus, The Most Rev. Archbishop Augustine Kasujja.

Rev. Fr. Emanuel Sita from the Kampala Archdiocesan Department of Justice and Peace, which is spearheading the preparation of the function, explained the background of the event.

“At the beginning of September, together with the Universal Church, we celebrated the Peace Week, which ran from the first to the ninth of September. Our Archdiocesan Commission of Caritas, Justice and Peace organised several activities aiming at promoting the awareness of the faithful to issues of justice and peace and the integrity of creation. 

In fact, the whole of this month, up to October 4, the feast of St. Padre Pio of Assisi, the Catholic Church in the whole world is invited by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, to reflect seriously and work for justice and peace and the conservation of the environment.

“Providentially, during the same month, our country Uganda annually commemorates the death anniversary of the late Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka, who was killed during the reign of President Idi Amin Dada because of his firm commitment to issues of justice and human dignity.

Following this tradition, which has been in place since some years, the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, His Grace Paul Ssemogerere decided to have a Memorial mass for Benedicto Kiwanuka on the day believed to have been that fateful day when he was killed.

“Besides being the son of the Catholic Church, Benedicto was also an active and practicing parishioner of Lubaga Cathedral Parish. As a leader, he believed that his leadership had to be founded on God alone as he once wrote: “A good leader ought to consider God first, the head and beginning of all that is good. (In response to Katikkiro Kintu, 1961; cfr. Bade p.41). On the day he was sworn in as the first Prime minister of Uganda in 1961, Benedicto went first to Lubaga Cathedral to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of Mass.

“The Archbishop of Kampala, His Grace Paul Seemogerere invites all, irrespective of our religious and political affiliations, to attend this memorial service to thank God for the gift of the late Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka and what he did for our country Uganda.

The Archbishop invites us to make that day a day of deep reflection on how each one of us can follow in the footsteps of Benedicto Kiwanuka in committing ourselves to promote truth and justice in our country even if it means giving our lives for that noble and divine cause,” Fr Sita explained.

Sita delivered the explanation during a press briefing at Lubaga cathedral. The Chancellor of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Kampala, Fr. Dr. Pius Male and Fr. Richard Nnyombi of the Catholic Missionary Society of the White Fathers also graced the press briefing.

The theme of the day will be: “Benedicto Kiwanuka: a prisoner and martyrs of truth and justice.”

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