Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Dozens dashed to Uganda Cancer Institute-UCI following news of the passing of Rt. Rev. Cyprian Bamwoze, the former Bishop of Busoga Diocese. The 86-year-old retired Bishop succumbed to Leukemia after being hospitalized for almost six months.
Our reporter found inconsolable mourners including both serving and retired clergy and lay leaders in the Anglican Church, friends, relatives and other faithfuls at Uganda Cancer Institute by 11:30am when he arrived at the facility. Many were seen broken as tears flowed freely down their cheeks.
Moses Sanon Dhizaala, the Director in Charge of Evaluation and Project Development at the National Planning Authority was among the mourners. He told URN that the country has lost one of its greatest sons who longed for the transformation of the rural poor more so in Busoga region where he served faithfully.
He said the former Bishop will be remembered for his great works, which still stand tall even after decades of his retirement from active service. Dhizaala explained that the late Bishop advocated for better education, health and improved livelihood not only among Christians, but all people which saw him start projects to this effect.
Eng. Dr. Tusu Tusubira, another mourner said besides preaching the gospel, Bishop Bamwoze was widely known for the Family Life Education and Planning-FLEP project, which became the major arm of Busoga Diocese and transformed many people from the region.
Dhizaala says to achieve his dreams; Bamwoze encouraged many young men who had attained higher education to return and serve their communities. He says the Bishop kept a record of graduates from the area regardless of their religion and would regularly visit and encourage them to work towards development of their region.
Dhizaala, who also served as the Statistician of Busoga Diocese in the 1990’s, says the diocese rose to fame and grew economically during the late Bishop Bamwoze’s reign because he attracted a number of projects with donor support. He argues that it was this that landed the Bishop in trouble as some people grew envious and started conspiracies against him.
Eng. Dr. Tusubira shares the same sentiments. He says some people misconstrued the personality of Bishop Bamwoze given the fact that he was a perfectionist and always told off individuals and powers that be, once he thought that something had been done wrongly.
Peter Mutalwa, the incumbent Secretary of Busoga Diocese and former lay leader at Christ’s Cathedral Bugembe during the reign of Bishop Bamwoze, says the deceased encouraged them to preach agriculture in churches. “Bishop was realistic and always encouraged us to preach agriculture as an income booster to our congregation,” he said.
Adding that, “Bishop was this person who spoke against sin and ensured that every one of us was given room to correct their mistakes before ministering to the congregation.”
Rt. Rev. George Egesa, the Bishop of Bukedi diocese worked as a treasurer in Busoga Diocese in1989 during the reign of the deceased Bishop. According to Bishop Egesa, the late Bishop Bamwoze was friendly and willing to spread the gospel of unity and development throughout the country.
About Bishop Bamwoze
Born in 1934, the late Bamwoze was consecrated on August, 06th 1972 and enthroned first Bishop of Busoga Anglican diocese on August 13th, the same year. He reigned over the diocese for 26 years and retired in 1998 after years of turbulence with a section of faithful and clergy accusing him of maladministration and arrogance.
In mid-1990’s a group of Anglicans from Iganga district planned to exit Busoga diocese but the Bishop refused to heed to their demands. He was forced to resign on January, 10th 1999 and hand over office to the former Archbishop Church of Uganda, the late Livingstone Nkoyoyo.
The late Bamwoze is survived six children comprising one daughter and five sons. He lost his wife, Naomi Bamwoze in June 2016. He married Naomi after losing his first wife, Beatrice in 1986. Bamwoze has been a renowned farmer in his home village of Nakimegere in Kamuli district.
Apart from a few reports which indicate that the late Bamwoze attended his secondary education at Busoga College Mwiru, little is known about his education and background.
Eng. Patrick Batubya, a relative to the deceased Bishop, says they intend to draft a detailed statement on the deceased’s life. By the time of publishing this story, preparatory meetings were still ongoing on the burial arrangements.