The outgoing Bishop of the Northern Uganda Anglican Diocese,
Johnson Gakumba is on the spot for alleged interference in the leadership of
the laity. Trouble began in November last year when the Bishop nullified the
re-election of Fred Watum as the Chairperson of the Laity for another four-year
term on grounds of ungodly conduct.
Watum emerged winner after defeating Rose Nyapolo, the Koro
Sub County Woman Councilor in Omoro District and Moses Cik, the Commissioner in
charge of Integrity in the Diocese. He protested
the Bishop’s decision and accused him of influence peddling and disrespecting
the decision of the laity by appointing Charles Onen as the chairperson of the
According to Watum, the Bishop also dragged him before the Church
tribunal on allegations of being a cult member. However, the tribunal has never
heard the matter six months after.
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Rev. Geoffrey Loum, the Chairman House of Clergies in
the Diocese who also doubles as Christ Church Parish Priest, says that they
have scrutinized Watum’s conducts and found it derogatory to the church
leadership. He says that Watum has been conducting unsupervised prayers at
his home in violation of the norms under the Church of Uganda, an allegation
Watum vehemently dismissed as slanderous.
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Gakumba dismissed the allegations of influence-peddling levelled
against him by Watum, saying that the decision to nullify the November election
was taken by the House of Bishops and House of the Clergies.
The row comes
at a time when the Church of Uganda is in the process of instituting a board to
oversee the appointment and the election of a new Bishop to replace Gakumba
scheduled who is scheduled to retire in November.
Gakumba took over as Bishop
of Northern Uganda Diocese in 2009 after replacing Bishop Nelson Onono Onweng.