Soroti , Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Fr. Athanasius Mubiru has bounced back to Soroti Catholic Diocese after his long “holiday” spanning 10 years. Fr. Mubiru is one of the pillars of the Soroti Catholic Diocese Integrated Development Organization- SOCADIDO and the brain behind the establishment of Kyoga Veritas and Delta radio stations.
He made his way back to Teso land on December 8, 2020, since his suspension in 2009. The then Bishop of Soroti, now archbishop of Tororo, Emmanuel Obbo sent the cleric who doubles as a social and developmental worker on forced leave because of internal disputes in the church.
News of Fr. Mubiru’s return triggered excitement during the ordination ceremony in Mukongoro Parish, Kumi District and later spread to social media where a section of Christians expressed gratitude to Bishop Joseph Oliach Echiru for considering Fr. Mubiru.
He is now the chaplain of Ococia Girls Secondary school and Assistant Parish Priest of Orungo in Amuria district. The Head Catechist of Orungo officially introduced Fr. Mubiru to Christian on Sunday during his first service.
URN caught up with Fr. Mubiru after prayers and asked him how he feels about his return to Teso, the land he served for long with passion. Fr. Mubiru encouraged Iteso to look out for opportunities to empower themselves.
Fr. Mubiru revealed to our reporter that after leaving the diocese, he resorted to farming on his 20 hectares of land bequeathed to him by his late father. With the knowledge on livestock and citrus farming, the cleric says he managed to raise different farms including. Livestock, poultry, beehives and more than 1,000 trees of oranges among others.
He has also been processing wine in Mityana District. He also started a Community-Based Organization- Centre for Indigenous Development Efforts, which employs more than 50 people directly with jobs and hundreds of others indirectly.
When asked about his first impression of Teso and what he would do if given an opportunity, Fr. Mubiru quickly said that there is need to conserve the environment by planting trees. He explained that there is need to create awareness by giving people critical information on the environment, impart skills and provide technical support including inputs for environmental conservation.
Fr. Mubiru, whose efforts in SOCADIDO saw farmers in Teso embrace citrus farming noted that there must be serious efforts to address climate change that he observed is affecting production.
Peter Elalu, the chairperson laity of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Orungo is optimistic that the coming of Fr. Mubiru will help Orungo Parish develop.
Elalu, who described Fr. Mubiru as a development icon of the diocese, said there is reason to celebrate the return of the priest, nicknamed Omuron (doctor) by the Teso Paramount Chief, Emorimor Augustine Osuban in 2004.
During his holiday, Fr. Mubiru also worked to support HIV infected and affected persons, supported adult literacy learning and enhanced soft skill training on agro-ecology development program at Uganda Martyrs University.