Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The race for the Mukono municipality parliamentary seat has revived the tension between the incumbent Member of Parliament, Betty Nambooze and Mukono diocese on the management of Bishop schools.
While addressing her supporters at the National Unity Platform-NUP party offices in Mukono this week, Nambooze accused the Bishop of Mukono Diocese, James William Ssebaggala of conniving with her Democratic Party rival and incumbent Mayor George Fred Kagimu to repossess land belonging to Bishop schools from the government with intentions of selling it to private developers.
The schools include Bishop East, Central and West primary schools that were established in 1910 close to the diocesan headquarters in Mukono central division. She accused Kagimu of siding with the church to destroy the image of the historical schools attended by many people who have lived in Mukono.
Nambooze claimed that Kagimu duped the municipal council to pass a resolution removing the schools from government jurisdiction.
In March 2016, the church came under fire from parents protesting the move to combine Bishop Central and East to form a single day primary school and the decision to reclaim Bishop West and place it under the diocese as a private boarding school so as to improve their performance.
The Mukono Diocesan secretary, Canon John Ssebudde has faulted Nambooze for dragging the Bishop in her political campaigns. He explains that they started registering first grades when the diocese took over the management of Bishop West primary school. The school registered 20 first grades in the last Primary Leaving Examinations.
Canon Ssebudde says the diocese has enough projects to fund its schools and has always managed to pay teachers on time. He says there was no sense in maintaining three poor performing government schools in the same area.
The Diocesan lawyer Ronald Musoke says they will not look on as Nambooze belittles the diocese and its top leader. He advises her to stop spreading false propaganda against the church and its leaders or risk being dragged to court for defamation.
The Diocesan Provost Rev Canon Enos Kagodo wonders why the MP would falsely accuse the Bishop of selling church land yet he has spent almost the years of his ministry fighting to reclaim church land in different parts of the diocese.
“The Bishop is hated for evicting encroachers on church land in different archdeaconries. He would use the opportunity to instead get money from the encroachers to maintain them on the contested land. Nambooze should focus on assessing what she has promised and done for Mukono people than sowing hatred,” Canon Kagodo notes.
During the celebrations of Bishop Ssebaggala’s tenth anniversary as the Bishop of Mukono Diocese, the Church of Archbishop, Dr. Steven Kazimba Mugalu commended him for transforming the outlook of Bishop Schools and their performance.