In his letter to Kumi Diocesan Chancellor, Emmanuel Ilukor, the Archbishop, Stanley Ntagali notes that Rev. Okunya was disqualified because of his age. In the February 5th, 2020 letter, the Archbishop noted that the House of Bishops reviewed five documents to establish Rev. Okunya’s actual age after receiving petitions from concerned Christians in Kumi.
Rev. Charles Okunya Oode, the bishop- elect of Kumi diocese.
The House of Bishops has banned Rev. Charles Oode Okunya
from taking part in the future contest for Kumi Diocese. Rev. Okunya had earlier on been elected by the House of Bishops in November,
2019 as Bishop of Kumi diocese but his consecration and enthronement were called off.
In his letter to Kumi Diocesan Chancellor, Emmanuel
Ilukor, the Archbishop, Stanley Ntagali notes that Rev. Okunya was disqualified
because of his age. In the February 5th, 2020 letter, the
Archbishop noted that the House of Bishops reviewed five documents to establish
Rev. Okunya’s actual age after receiving petitions from concerned Christians in Kumi.
He notes that the bishops, sitting in Mityana on February 1st
reviewed Rev. Okunya’s National Identity Card, NIRA records, Passport, academic
records from Uganda Christian University and those submitted by the diocese
during the vetting processes.
The records indicate that Rev. Okunya was born on November 23rd,
1975, indicating that he was a year younger to attain the age of becoming a
bishop in line with Article 13  of the Provincial Constitution and Canons
3.6.1, 3.6.2 and 3.7.23 of the Church of Uganda Provincial Canons.
“The House of Bishops took into consideration the fact that
information on age was provided by the Reverend himself to the various
organizations and offices indicated above and came up with the conclusion that
the statutory declaration sworn on the 25th day of September, 2019
was false…All the documents were consistent on the age and that could not have been
a coincidence”, part of the letter reads.
The letter, in part, concluded that Rev. Okunya’s name shouldn’t
be submitted in the subsequent election processes for Kumi Diocese.
“Given the fact that Rev. Okunya was involved in the
activities to knowingly falsify his actual age, the House of Bishops resolved
that his name should not come up among any future candidates. It is regrettable
that the House had to come to this decision but at the same time, it was
necessary to protect the integrity of the Church of Uganda and to ensure that
strict adherence is made to the laws that govern the Church”, the letter
The decision by the province has drawn mixed reactions
from Christians in the diocese. Ezekiel Amaitum, one of the Christians at St.
Phillips Cathedral in Ngora district questions why the House of Bishops failed
to do due diligence during the vetting processes before presenting Rev. Okunya
as Bishop- elect.
“There were many allegations brought before that committee.
It confirms that there was foul play from the onset of this whole processes. Since
Rev. Okunya’s mistake is so grave to an extent that his name should NEVER
appear on any list, he should then be dismissed. Unless there is something I don’t
know, which is more than age”, he said in his text.
Kenneth Aede, a Christian at St. Phillips Cathedral in
Soroti is concerned with the manner in which Rev. Okunya’s fate was communicated
through social media.
“What will be the aftermath of this letter on the person of
Reverend in question? Anyway, some decisions we make as Christians can either
destroy or build us”, he posted on WhatsApp group.
Both Emmanuel Ilukor, the Kumi Diocesan Chancellor and Rev.
Capt. Moses Okello, the Diocesan Secretary declined to comment on the matter,
claiming that they had not received any official communication from the
“We are only reading about this development on social media
but the said letter has not reached our desks. We Cannot, therefore, comment on
the matter that is not formal”, the officers said in different phone interface.
Bureau Chief, Soroti
Living the Pen