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We will cleanse Parliamentary chapel, says Arcbishop Lwanga

By Mathias Mazinga

Added 23rd December 2017 08:09 PM

“We have instructed the Chaplain to investigate the allegations that the Police Officers ate and also excreted in the chapel. These allegations have indeed troubled us," Lwanga

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“We have instructed the Chaplain to investigate the allegations that the Police Officers ate and also excreted in the chapel. These allegations have indeed troubled us," Lwanga

Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga delivering his Christmas Message at his office in Rubaga on Saturday, December 23 - Photo by Mathias Mazinga

The Catholic Church is investigating allegations that the Police abused the Catholic Parliamentary chapel by eating and excreting in it. If the allegations are found to be true, the chapel will be cleansed before it is used again, Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala Archdiocese has said.

 He made the remarks during his Christmas message press-briefing at his office at Rubaga this afternoon (Saturday, December 23).

“We have instructed the Chaplain to investigate the allegations that the Police Officers ate and also excreted in the chapel. These allegations have indeed troubled us because as you all know, the chapel is a holy place of prayer. So, to eat and also do other funny things in it is something beyond our imagination,” Lwanga said.

He also added: “We have asked the chaplain to thoroughly investigate the allegations and if they are found to be true, we shall perform the respective liturgical functions to cleanse the chapel before it is put to use again. By the way, why did they hide in the chapel if they had clean motives? If their motive was to give the MPs security, why didn’t they camp in an open place where they could be seen? If they had to be in the chapel, why did they not open up to the MPs about it?” Lwanga asked.

In his Christmas message, Lwanga strongly criticized the MPs for ignoring the advice of religious leaders and elders who requested that the people be “adequately and extensively listened to, heard and respected.” The Prelate argued that the complaints from voters, accusing their MPs of betrayal subsequent to the lifting of the Presidential age-limit cap and the extension of the Presidential and parliamentary term-limits from 5-7 years, stand as proof that the process of amendment was neither proper nor done in good faith.

“It is unfortunate that the members of parliament did not listen to our advice. As religious leaders concerned about the present and future well-being of our nation, we affirm that a healthy democracy cannot exist unless citizens have a possibility to know and exercise their right of choice. We are told that nationwide consultations were done yet we hear complaints from voters of betrayal by their MPs as reported in today’s news. How can it be?”

Below is the message of Archbishop Lwanga in full.

Greetings

Merry Christmas to you all, starting from His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, members of his Family and members of His Government.

  • To His Majesty the Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, his Family and members of His Government and his subjects.  

  • To All Cultural Leaders in Uganda

  • To All the Officially Recognized Religious Leaders in Uganda

  • To all the members of the media whose role in our society is to feed the public with right and nourishing information and by so doing contribute to the building of peace and stability

  • To All Christians and to all people of God. To you all I say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2018.

 Song of Praise and Thanksgiving to God for his goodness

Dear friends, as we approach the end of the year, I invite you to give praise and thanks to God for His goodness to each one of us, to our families, communities and nation at larger, using the words of Psalm 117 (118):

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. For his love endures for ever. Let the sons of Israel say:

‘His love endures for ever. Let the sons of Aaron say:

‘His love endures for ever.Let those who fear the Lord say:

‘His love endures for ever. (Psalm 117(118): 1-4)

It is indeed right and fitting that all Ugandans, and especially we Christians and all God-fearing citizens, should raise a great song of praise and thanksgiving to God, the Father of all, who has expressed to us in so many ways his love and care for our nation during this ending year.

Current events in Parliament and Society are a very challenging moment in the history of our Country

Presently, our country is experiencing a very challenging moment revealed in a number of social and political upheavals namely;

  • Controversies and discontentment on the Constitutional amendments

  • Strikes of Doctors, Teachers and Judicial Officers. Unfortunately the spokesman for the Doctors was brutally beaten by unknown people! 

  • Violation of human rights and freedoms by individuals and state security agents, etc.

  • Food insecurity especially in some rural areas

  • Brutality and violence carried out by some security agencies

  • Unexplained Killings in different parts of Uganda

  • Land and other localized conflicts

My humble hope and prayer is that just solutions to these issues will be found through peaceful and just means with the basic backbone of our National Motto namely; “For God and My Country” 

Amendment of the Constitution

Concerning Controversies and discontentment on the Constitutional amendments, while constitutions are amended, it should be done in good faith with posterity taken care of. However the incidents that preceded the current amendments leave a lot of questions regarding the spirit and process of the amendment.  We are told that nationwide consultations were done yet we hear complaints from voters of betrayal by their MPs as reported in today’s news.

Furthermore there are complaints that consultations were not adequately done concerning the extension of the Presidential and Parliamentary term limits  from 5 to 7 years.

It is very unfortunate that the members of parliament did not listen to our advice as Religious Leaders and the many elders who requested that people’s voice should be adequately and extensively listened to, heard and respected.

As Religious leaders, concerned about the present and future well-being of our Nation, we affirm that a healthy democracy cannot exist unless citizens have possibility to know and exercise their right of choice. 

But as a way forward, allow me to quote from a document written by the Catholic Bishops of Uganda in 1986, the Catholic Bishops wrote:

The Constitution should help to unify the Nation and create a new mentality capable of overcoming the various divisive factors that can erupt in our society.”

Our message is still very relevant today in the present circumstances we are going through. Since the human person for whom the law is made is free and intelligent, it is necessary that the law be enacted in such a way so as to make the free and intelligent person feel at home with it, and to be convinced that the law is for his or her good, both as an individual and as a member of the society in which one lives.

Peace and Reconciliation

Under our umbrella board, of the Uganda Joint Christian Council we recently gave the following Christmas message as a way forward.

Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, came to reconcile humanity with God but he faced persecution right from the day he was born. He underwent suffering to accomplish the mission assigned to him. He was nailed on the cross for a sin he never committed. After experiencing extreme brutality during his earthly ministry, Jesus’ parting words were,    ‘‘Peace, I leave with you…Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’’  (John 14:27).

As Religious Leaders, we do feel the pain of some Ugandans who feel excluded from the decision-making processes that affect the welfare of the citizens; those whose views are being ignored simply because they belong to the ‘wrong political camp’. In order to heal and be able to make tangible contributions to the unity and development of the country, all of us should embrace the message of peace and work for peace in all that we do and say. Let peace reign in our hearts. Let us remember the plight of the underprivileged; those who struggle daily to make ends meet. Let us celebrate Christmas with decorum by being considerate to all people, by driving carefully and respecting other road users so that we do not shed any innocent blood.

The Place of the Family in Society which is another care of concern in our society

The family is the basic unit of society. It is entitled to protection by society and the State. However, the family is under severe pressure linked to unemployment, alcoholism, drug abuse, pornography and other social evils. As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, we need to draw lessons from Jesus Christ who was born and raised up in a family. His parents treasured him so much that when they did not find him after the Feast of the Passover they had to go back from Nazareth to Jerusalem to look for him. Jesus ‘‘grew in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and men.’’ (Lk. 2.52). We urge every parent to give priority to their children and other family members during this festive season. I therefore call upon all people to treasure their husband, wife, children and other loved ones. Be available for one another; to your spouse and children and enjoy their company.

The meaningful response to our Challenges is; to do everything including, planning, acting and making laws ‘For God and My Country’

Fellow Ugandans, we are indebted to our predecessors who formulated our national motto as: “For God and My Country”. This Motto is the compass they left behind to show us the direction to take to ‘build and unify our nation’ and overcome the various divisive factors and forces which we sometimes see at work in our society. This Motto is the ideal and the spirit which should motivate and inspire all our actions and activities as individuals and as a nation. It is the medicine left for us by the founding fathers and mothers of our nation, which will cure our burning challenges today.

Let us therefore remember always the good and relevant Preamble of our National Constitution which says;

  • “....RECALLING our history which has been characterised by political and constitutional instability;

  • RECOGNISING our struggles against the forces of tyranny, oppression and exploitation; Let us always be

  • COMMITTED to building a better future by establishing a socio-economic and political order through a popular and durable national Constitution based on the principles of unity, peace, equality, democracy, freedom, social justice and progress.

CONCLUSION

I, therefore, invite you all fellow citizens, as individuals, as a society and as well as a Nation, to include on the list of our New Year resolutions that fight against the above mentioned concerns. Let us resolve to ‘do everything for God and my Country’ and pray that the Holy Spirit helps us to identify equitable solutions to our challenges in a spirit of Love, concern for one another and our Nation and make Uganda a just home for all its citizens and not just a few.

I wish you all, Merry, Blessed and Peaceful Christmas and a Prosperous New Year 2018! God bless you all!

 

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