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Echoes from the past: The Consecration of Archbishop Kaziimba and the intersection of politics and religion in Uganda

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Added 2nd March 2020 11:27 AM

The consecration was done in presence of the President, Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Katikkiro of Buganda was filled with echoes of this past. It was apparent that the more things have changed the more they have remained the same.

Echoes from the past: The  Consecration of Archbishop Kaziimba and the intersection of politics and religion in Uganda

The consecration was done in presence of the President, Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Katikkiro of Buganda was filled with echoes of this past. It was apparent that the more things have changed the more they have remained the same.

KAZIIMBA                           NAMIREMBE
 
By Apollo N. Makubuya
 
The consecration of Archbishop Steven Kaziimba as the 9th Archbishop of Uganda once again converged the power and interests of Church, State and the kingdom of Buganda in an interesting fashion.
 
Religiocultural and political symbols were in full display from flags, car keys, hymns, choirs, eucharist, robes, and staff.
 
Equally political and prominent was the competition for attention by the church, kingdom and the state-from the roll-call of Bishops, cabinet ministers and other state actors to speeches by representatives of Bishops from all continents, the President, the Speaker of Parliament, the Katikkiro and Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, the Organiser-in-Chief. 
 
The significance of the peaceful canonical transfer of power from one Archbishop to another was apparent. Just like the states' domination in the sponsorship and organisation of the church event.
 
Inevitably, perhaps as a reflection of its present power relations with the state and church, the Buganda kingdom played a peripheral role at the event.
 
The intersection of religious, cultural and secular political interests has a long and problematic history in Uganda. From the days of British rule, the church was used as a tool for the domination of the colonized and for the advancement of interests of the colonial state.
 
The consecration was done in presence of the President, Gen.  Yoweri K. Museveni and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Katikkiro of Buganda was filled with echoes of this past. It was apparent that the more things have changed the more they have remained the same.
 
Several questions arise from this continuum including, how may the church avoid being used by political actors as an instrument to achieve secular goals including the mobilisation of the public to their political agenda? And, conversely, how can the state avoid being used by the Church to promote an Anglican Christianisation agenda? 
 
The writer is the author of Protection, Patronage, or Plunder? British Machinations and (B)Uganda's Struggle for Independence

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