By Alfred Wasike
PREMIER Apolo Nsibambi has hailed the late Bishop Festo Kivengere as a religious leader who catered for the spiritual and economic lives of his flock.
At his first public function since his re-appointment as prime minister, Nsibambi appealed to religious leaders to fight poverty.
He was speaking at a Bishop Festo Kivengere Public Lecture and Memorial Service at All Saints Cathedral Nakasero on Sunday.
Nsibambi said the late prelate organised economic and social projects that continued to benefit Ugandans.
Kivengere, an international Ugandan evangelist, who was dubbed â€œthe Billy Graham of Africaâ€, died of leukemia on May 18, 1988, leaving behind Mera his wife and daughters Peace, Joy, Hope and Charity.
Led by Hope, a presidential adviser, the sisters sang one of their father favourite hymns in Kiswahili and amused the congregation when she announced that the sisters were launching themselves as â€œthe Melodious 4â€.
Peace described their father as loving. She said their mother was too frail to attend the service.
Nsibambi said, â€œIn 1997, Kivengere got money from friends abroad and constructed thirty primary schools in Mukono, Lira, Kigezi and Mbarara.â€
â€œHe was one of the founders of the African Evangelistic Enterprises, (AEE) which is involved in mission work and developmental activities.
AEE has given scholarships to students to get primary, secondary and university education.
AEE runs a vocational training centre called Nile Vocational Institute in Mukono, Nsibambi said.
â€œThis contrasts with other religious leaders who only concentrate on the spiritual side and when they retire, they face a lot of poverty.
Kivengere believed that a hungry person is unlikely to listen to the Gospel,â€ Nsibambi said.
Nsibambi said kivengere was linguistically versatile. He preached in Africa, Britain, Australia, America and other places, he said.