Lwanga has always been distinct among his peers who always preferred to stay quiet on critical issues affecting the nation or when they speak, choose to speak vaguely. Be it condemning recent kidnaps, tortures, corruption or responding to his critics, Lwanga never threw away opportunity to speak when leading Eucharistic celebrations.
Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the Archbishop of Kampala
Archdiocese who was found dead in his bedroom this morning, was a prelate who
always spoke truth to power.
Lwanga has always been distinct among his peers who always
preferred to stay quiet on critical issues affecting the nation or when they
speak, choose to speak vaguely. Be it condemning recent abductions, torture,
corruption or responding to his critics, Lwanga never threw away opportunity to
speak when leading Eucharistic celebrations.
And Lwanga’s forthrightness often earned scathing responses
from several government officials, including the head of state. Lwanga’s last
public message — which he delivered yesterday during the Ecumenical
Public Way of the Cross when he was among religious leaders under the
Christian Council (UJCC) umbrella that brings together Roman Catholic Church,
Anglican Church and Orthodox — is a tribute of forthrightness.
said religious leaders are deeply concerned by the actions of some security
personnel that have resulted in disappearance of people, especially the youth. “This
is brewing anger, division, fear and anxiety within the population and totally
contravenes the human rights frameworks to which we are signatory as a country.
We are troubled that the disregard of these God given rights and freedoms shall
weaken our social fiber of harmony, social cohesion and responsive leadership.”
of youth, mostly supporter of National Unity Platform (NUP) were kidnapped
during the election season. When released from kidnap, many returned with
scars, limping, and many signs indicative of torture.Plot to kill
During his New Year message,
Lwanga, said he and the Catholic Church were being accused of plotting to kill
Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, a NUP presidential candidate. This was days
before the end of presidential election campaigns, ahead of January 14th
He said some people he did not
name were lying that he wanted to poison
through Holy Communion: “Some people came out to say I and the
Catholic Church were plotting to kill Bobi Wine and we would poison him through
the (Eucharistic) Host," Dr Lwanga said during the homily, "That was a big allegation, I can’t do that. I am the one who wedded
Bobi so that means I have a personal attachment to him. Bobi loves his Church
and he should not be made to hate it just like that!”
During the homily, Lwanga also
said there were fake
spreading on social media that he had been bought my Museveni. “People were on social media spreading lies,
abusing me, and saying all sorts of things that I have been bought (by Museveni).
If you ask such people to provide proof, they can never get it.”
Spying on him
The 2018 Easter season was when the Dr Lwanga — government relationship ebbed to its lowest point. During the Way of
Cross on 30th March, Lwanga dropped a bombshell
was spying on him, he revealed. Lwanga said he had received a call from someone
who informed him that government had recruited priests and nuns to spy on him. He
said the president was acting on wrong information provided by security agencies.
“Government thinks you want to
overthrow government, be careful your grace. You must be the next Luwum
(Archbishop Jonan Luwum murdered Ida Amin in 1977),” Dr Lwanga quoted what the caller had told him. Dr Lwanga said another unidentified person came at night at his gate and
threw a letter. “When I opened the letter, I saw a list of those who have been
recruited to work for the security agencies.”
“Mr President we…
out:…that is criminal.”//
When government spokesperson
Ofwono Opondo dismissed his assertion as unfounded, Lwanga responded by revealing more
during Easter Mass on April 1st. He said one day, security agencies
officials turned up asking to check room of a priest who had died to retrieve government stores. The archbishop said
the security officers claimed they had given that priest a pistol. But he did not explain if
soldiers got the pistol they came looking for or not. Lwanga urged religious
leaders to stop spying for government.
//Cue in: “ebitongole ebikola
Cue out:…abaliyo eyo muveyo.”//
A week later—on April 8th
2018, Museveni held a face to face meeting with Dr Lwanga at Nakasero State Lodge.
The relationship thawed thereafter. Quoting Museveni, preaching democracy
But by end 2018, Lwanga was fired up again,
hastily responding to Museveni New Year speech (which he had made on the night of
December 31st) accusing religious leaders of behaving as if
they are an authority on everything, speaking in favour of people they fancy so
they can get them into political power.
“Some of our religious people are so full of arrogance," Museveni had said. "They
talk most authoritatively on all and everything even when they have not
bothered to find out the truth. This is assuming they do not
have evil intentions which would be worse. That would make them the
Kayaffas, the Chief Priest - that betrayed Jesus.”
In response, Lwanga said the clergy are simply playing their
cardinal role as citizens to participate in nation building, and as well as
resisting bad politics as President Museveni himself once asked Ugandans to do.
//Cue in: “the president one…
Cue out:…for this country.”//
“The president, one day said all of
us belong to the Movement system and he explained to us why he started the National
Resistance Movement, hee said; ‘I want people to resist bad politics’," Dr Lwanga said. "So
he commanded people to resist bad politics, he said we should
resist bad politics, and I think he was right there. Clap for it [loud and long
clapping]. Let us resist bad politics, let us resist bad politics and promote
national unity because we’re all interested in this country and also to build a
strong future for this country.”
As Lwanga quoted the Constitution on freedom of expression and
Museveni's historical remarks on democracy, he was loudly cheered by the
congregation. He referred to the National Resistance Movement (NRM's) 10-point
Programme stipulated by Museveni in his book, Sowing the Mustard
as a good guide in the work of national renewal.
//Cue in: “another good guide…
Cue out:…and our country.”//
Lwanga’s sudden death has elicited different reactions. “Who has killed
my favourite Archbishop?" former Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Venanscious Baryamureba tweeted. "May his soul rest in eternal peace. We shall join you
at the appointed time!”