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Bishops, clergy meet in Ngora over Kumi Diocese deadlock 


By Simon Peter Emwamu

Five bishops and other members of the clergy under Kumi Diocese on Friday held a meeting at St Philip’s Cathedral in Ngora District on yet another fact-finding mission over nullification of the consecration of Rev Charles Oode Okunya as Bishop of Kumi Diocese. 

The bishops include Soroti Diocese Bishop Kosea Odongo, Central Busoga Bishop Rev Canon Patrick Wakula, Rtd Bishop Bernard Obaikol of Soroti Diocese, Rtd Bishop Nicodemus Okille of Bukedi Diocese, and Rtd Bishop for Kumi Diocese Thomas Edison Irigei. 

The meeting, which started at midday, was also attended by both active and retired clergy of Kumi Diocese including Bishop Charles Odurkami, the caretaker of Kumi Diocese. 

Rev Okuny, who was also present at the meeting, was consecrated as Bishop of Kumi in November last year by the House of Bishops.

But in 2020, Rev Okunya’s consecration was nullified following petitions raised over his age and marriage. 

 Rev Okunya allegedly changed his age and has been married twice, one of which has yet to be resolved in court, and the union with the current wife took place in a non-gazetted venue.


Rev Okunya lodged a court case, challenging the circumstances under which he was denied his appointment as Bishop, but the civil court ruled against him, saying they had no proper knowledge on how to handle church matters. 

When asked about the meeting Bishop Odongo said the agenda was not for press consumption but at an opportune time, the outcome will be communicated. 
“You can forgive us for today, safe journey home,” Bishop Odongo said. 

Unlike the previous incidences, the meeting was calm with no police presence. 
This paper has learnt that Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba blessed the call for the fact finding mission and the House of Bishops.

The first fact finding mission of January 2020, was chaired by Bishop Patrick Gidudu of Mbale Diocese, whose three-man fact finding exonerated Rev Charles Oode Okunya of the matters raised in the petition. 

 Rev Canon William Ongeng, the provincial secretary for Church of Uganda, said the true picture on the outcome of the meeting will be articulated after the findings of today. 

A reverend, who wished not to be named, intimated to Daily Monitor that it was their prayer that the matter came to rest. 

“What shall we tell our children, that in our time as clergymen we were under chaos, this matter should go to bed today,” he added.

In July, a team of more than 15 youth attacked the clergy at St Phillips Cathedral.

Rev Martin Ejiet, the archdeacon for St Phillips Cathedral Ngora, and his two sons were severely beaten up, by the youth, who were against the consecration of Rev Charles Okunya.

The prelate said he had earlier received information  that a team of youth from Kumi was preparing to assault the church. 

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