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Church of Uganda elects new Bishops for Kigezi, Kumi Diocese

Venerable Gaddie Akanjuna has been elected the next Bishop of Kigezi Diocese.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda has elected the Venerable Gaddie Akanjuna as the new Bishop of Kigezi Diocese.

He will replace the Rt. Rev. George Bagamuhunda, who announced last year that he will retire early from active Church service on grounds of poor health.

“Whereas under the Church of Uganda Canon laws, Bishops retire once they clock 65 years, I have opted to retire in June 2022 at the age of 64 because of the poor health that is hindering me from being active while serving the roles of a bishop,” Bagamuhunda told journalists in May last year.

He added that the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, His Grace Dr. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, had okayed his early retirement and that the process of electing a new bishop had already started.

The election of Akanjuna was confirmed following a sitting by the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda at Lweza Training and Conference Centre on Wednesday.

“He will be consecrated and enthroned as Bishop on 26th June 2022 at St. Peter’s Cathedral, Rugarama. Ven. Akanjuna was born on 10th August 1962. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Diploma of Theology from Uganda Christian University, and a Certificate in Theology from Bishop Barham Divinity College,” reads part of a press statement issued by Rev. Canon Captain William Ongeng, the Church of Uganda Provincial Secretary.

Ven. Akanjuna is currently serving as an Archdeacon, based at All Saints Church, Kabale. He has served in several Archdeaconries as an Archdeacon, as a parish priest, and a teacher.

The House of Bishops has also elected Rev. Michael Okwii Esakahn as the 2nd Bishop of Kumi Diocese.

He replaces Rt. Rev. Thomas Irigei, the first Bishop of Kumi Diocese, who retired at the end of 2019 when he reached the Church’s mandatory retirement age of 65.

“Per the constitution and canons of the Church of Uganda, when there is a vacancy in a diocese, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda automatically becomes the Ecclesiastical Authority. After Bishop Irigei’s retirement, the 8th Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, appointed retired Bishop John Charles Odurkami to serve as the Caretaker Bishop of Kumi Diocese. When the Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba was enthroned as the 9th Archbishop on 1st March 2020, he automatically became the Ecclesiastical Authority of Kumi Diocese and renewed Bishop Odurkami’s appointment as caretaker Bishop of Kumi Diocese,” the Provincial Secretary explains.

The new Bishop for Kumi Diocese is scheduled to be consecrated and enthroned as Bishop on 6th March 2022 at St. Philip’s Cathedral, Ngora.

According to the Provincial Secretary, Rev. Captain William Ongeng, Rev. Okwii was born on 10th February 1965 into a Roman Catholic family in Atoot, Ngora district, Teso, and his baptism and confirmation records in the Roman Catholic Church were destroyed during the insurgency. Ongeng says that Rev. Okwii later got saved on 3rd June 1986 in a fellowship.

Rev. Okwii has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management from the Uganda Management Institute, a Master of Arts in Applied Theology from Trinity College, Bristol, UK, a Bachelor of Divinity, and a Diploma in Theology from Bishop Tucker School Theological College, currently Uganda Christian University-UCU.

He was ordained a deacon in St. Peter’s Cathedral, Soroti, in 1990 and a priest in 1991.

He has served in many capacities in the Church of Uganda, including as a parish priest and Cathedral Vicar. He is currently the Archdeacon of Soroti and parish priest of Asuret.

He has been a lecturer at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, Director of the Mbale Campus of UCU, and Deputy Principal of St. Peter’s Theological College, Soroti.

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