The Luweero Anglican Diocese has directed priests not to contest and participate in the forthcoming Village council elections, saying it might split their churches.
The Bishop of Luweero Anglican Diocese, Eridard Nsubuga Kironde issued the directive on Sunday shortly after ordaining priests at St. Mark Cathedral Church in Luweero town.
Those ordained include 30 lay leaders who are still on probation, 17 were confirmed as lay leaders, 3 deacons and one parish priest. In his speech, Bishop Nsubuga warned the priests against contesting in the LC 1 elections, saying those who want to should resign from priesthood.
According to Uganda Radio Network, Bishop also warned the priests against voting in the polls, arguing the mode of voting by queuing behind candidates is inappropriate and may split the church. He said that some candidates my see priests as traitors if they don’t stand behind them during the vote.
The ordained priests and Christians agreed with the Bishop directives. Livingstone Wasswa, a lay leader in Nkuzongere Church of Uganda in Nakaseke, said the bible call for equal treatment of all Christians and asked priests to stay from divisive politics.
Meanwhile, Church leaders under the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) have warned that the current approach to amend the Constitution through a Private Member’s Bill is retrogressive and robes the Supreme Law of the land its pertinent status.
This is carried in their joint Christmas message released today by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda (COU), His Grace Stanley Ntagali, at a press conference at the COU Provincial offices in Namirembe.
The message delivered by Archbishop Ntagali, who is the UJCC Chair, comes amidst uncertainty whether or not the report on the controversial bill seeking to remove presidential age limits will come up for discussion. The UJCC is made up of Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox church leaders.
The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chaired by the West Budama South MP, Jacob Oboth-Oboth is expected to table its report before parliament on the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017 which was tabled by Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi.
The Committee is reported to have endorsed the proposal to amend Article 102(b) of the Constitution, which caps the presidential age between 35 and 75 years. The proposed amendment requires approval of 290 of the 436 MPs to pass.
Some political observers say the proposal, if endorsed by parliament, would remove the last hurdle for President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election when his current term of office expires in 2021. Born in 1944 and in power since 1986, Article 102(b) bars Museveni from running for the top office in 2021 as he will be above 75 years of age.