Prelate who spoke truth to power
COVER STORY | BY AGENCIES | Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese who died on April 03 and was buried on April 08, has been eulogized as a prelate who always spoke truth to power.
Lwanga was found dead in his bedroom at his residence in Lubaga. He was 68 years old and had been Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese for 15 years starting in August 2006.
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 on April 02 during the Ecumenical Public Way of the Cross when he was among religious leaders under the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) umbrella that brings together Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church and Orthodox — is a tribute to forthrightness.
Lwanga 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.”
Hundreds of youth, mostly supporter of National Unity Platform (NUP) were disappeared by suspected security agencies during the recent election season. Many who resurfaced after the disappearances bear physical scars, limping, and many signs indicative of torture.
Target of fake news
During his New Year homily, Lwanga said there were fake news 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.”
In the same 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 14 election.
He said some people he did not name were lying that he wanted to poison Bobi Wine 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!”