Uganda has lost six major religious leaders some succumbing to mystery deaths while others after long battle of illness. This exclusive takes a look at the top clerics who have died suddenly in the last six months.
1. ARCHBISHOP DR. CYPRIAN KIZITO LWANGA
The late Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga was pronounced dead on Saturday for what was later confirmed as heart disease to be the cause of his death. His demise threw the country in utter shock as he had seemed to be well and healthy a day before as Christians took the journey of the cross on Good Friday.
Lwanga, 68, was found lying dead on Saturday morning and is to be buried tomorrow (Thursday) at Rubaga Cathedral.
2. BISHOP JOHN BAPTIST KAGGWA
On January 20th, 2021 charismatic Masaka Bishop Emeritus John Baptist Kaggwa succumbed to COVID-19 which he had been battling for two months.
Just like Dr Lwanga, Bishop Kaggwa had been revered for championing peace, justice, democracy and social development in his pastoral mission. Many speakers, in eulogising Kaggwa, been described him as a social activist in a priests’ robes over the last 25 years. He was 78 years old at the time of his passing.
3. OWOBUSOBOZI BISAKA
The man whose followers considered god Owobusobozi Bisaka died on January 18, 2021. He was the founder of the Faith Unity cult that boasts thousands of followers.
Bisaka’s death was confirmed by the head of communication of Faith Unity Omukwenda Mitooro on behalf of the family and Omukwenda Mugisa on behalf of the advisory committee.
Bisaka’s dumbstruck and grief stricken followers had now to contend with the passing of the man who had deemed himself god and eternal. He passed away in Kenya at the age of 90.
4. SHEIKH NUHU MUZAATA
The motor-mouthed Muslima, Sheikh Nuhu Muzaata Batte passed on December 4, 2020 at only 48 years of age.
Muzaata had made a name for himself a vocal speaker on Muslim issues and concerns on the national stage. He would not, however, stop there, colourfully calling out politicians he deemed to be misusing their powers and platforms. Muzaata was as likely to laud as to castigate and his speeches had become so popular that they were sold downtown.
He passed away at the International Hospital Kampala after several weeks of failing health and trouble in his marital home. He was later confirmed to have succumbed to Covid-19 complications as well.
5. SHEIKH DR. ABDU ANAS KALIISA
Dr. Abdu Anas Kaliisa one of the pillars at Next Media Services sadly passed away on November 5th, 2020 leaving the NMS family in grief and shock. Dr. Kaliisa had just celebrated the landmark achievement of his younger brother Kin Kariisa relocating his group of companies to its new Naguru home after many years of planning and construction.
Dr Kaliisa was expected to be an even more pivotal part of Next Media Services as he expanded the reach of the Salam Charity. In addition to this charity, he had spearheaded the creation of Kaliisa foundation to aid needy children access education. He was also the star attraction of of a weekly Sunday show on NBS TV called Ensi n’ebyayo. Dr Kaliisa had long been involved in the growth of Islam in the country since the 1970s as a practitioner, leader and advisor. He was 69 at the time of his demise.
6. PASTOR AUGUSTINE YIGA
Many people at first doubted the authenticity of reports that Pastor Augustine Yiga had died, when news filtered out on October 20th, 2020.
Nicknamed Pastor “Abizaayo” for his outlandish “healing miracles” at Revival Church Kawaala, Yiga had been declared dead more times than can be counted on social media before. He had often come back to rebut the reports of his death on his channel, ABS TV, which itself had a difficult relationship with the regulator Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
Never one to shy away from controversy, Yiga had been thrown in jail five months before for claiming that there is no Coronavirus in Africa. Yiga was charged with uttering false information and spreading harmful propaganda, an accusation his critics had long leveled at him for years. Yiga was 44 when he died, reportedly of liver complications.