Father Robert Isingoma Binta, the first chaplain for Uganda Parliament has passed on in the United States. Binta, 56, died on August 20 in a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.
He was Parliament’s first Chaplain in 2003, a position he served for four years before moving to the US in 2007. At the time of his death, Binta was the Parish Priest at St Benedict Parish in Phoenix, Arizona.
According to his twin sister Aphra Nyakato, Binta died following a two-year battle with cancer.
“In 2016, he was diagnosed with cancer of the lungs. He underwent treatment, but the cancer cells kept spreading from one organ to another until he died,” Nyakato says.
Nyakato describes her late brother as a reason-oriented person, a perfectionist who was always committed.
Fr. Robert Binta (wearing-glasses) cuts the cake with friends and family during his silver jubilee celebrations in Karambi, Kabarole district
In 2016 Binta celebrated 25 years in priesthood at a function held at his ancestral home in Karambi, Kabarole district.
During the event, Binta described priesthood as not an easy calling, but only easy through constant prayers.
“Twenty-five years in priesthood in not easy, but by your prayers I have made it. I ask you to keep praying for me so that in 2041, we come back and celebrate 50 years,” Binta said during his Silver Jubilee celebration.
On August 3, Binta was going to celebrate 27 years in priesthood.
Steven Basaliza who was a Member of Parliament at the time when Binta was the Chaplain, says Binta always believed in truth, love and service above self.
“He brought life to Parliament, he brought spirituality to the House which has continued up to today,” Basaliza says of his brother-in-law.
Monsignor (Msgr) Isaiah Mayombo, the Fort Portal Diocese Vicar General describes Binta as friendly and quality oriented person.
“Fr. Binta was a friend and a colleague. He was a man who loved his work and loved to put quality in all he did,” Mayombo says.
He revealed that a requiem Mass for Binta will be held at St Benedict Parish in Arizona on August 24 and later arrangements to bring the body to Uganda will begin.
Binta is expected to be buried at Virika Parish in Fort Portal Diocese.
“It might take up to about two weeks for the body to be brought to Uganda,” Mayombo says.
PIC: Fr. Binta receives gifts from well wishers on his silver jubilee anniversary
Born to Dr Paul Binta in Karambi in Kabarole district on April 14, 1962, Binta attended Kinyamasika Demonstration School from 1971-1977.
He joined St Mary’s Seminary in 1978-1981 for his O’level and A’Level from 1982-1984. In 1985, he joined St Thomas Katigondo Major Seminary and later Ggaba National Seminary from 1989-1991.
He was ordained priest on August 31, 1991.
Binta served as a priest at Fort Portal Diocese and taught at St Mary Seminary. He was once a financial controller of the Catholic Secretariat.
Between 2008 and 2012, he was an associate pastor or assistant parish priest at St Paul Catholic Parish Phoenix Arizona.