KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Archbishop Emeritus of Mbarara Archdiocese, Paul Kaamuza Bakyenga, has died at the age of 79.
Bakyenga who was Archbishop of Mbarara from January 2, 1999 until April 25, 2020, died Tuesday morning, July 18, at Nsambya Hospital in Kampala where he had gone for his regular medical checkups.
The news of Bakyenga’s demise was confirmed by Rev Fr Charles Mutabaruka, the communications director of the Mbarara Archdiocese.
Fr Mutabaruka noted that further details regarding the prelate’s passing will be shared at a later time.
Born June 30, 1944, in Bumbaire, Igara in Bushenyi district, Paul Bakyenga was ordained a priest on July 11, 1971, and in 1989, he was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Mbarara, positioning him to succeed Bishop John Baptist Kakubi.
THe fallen cleric dedicated his life to a distinguished career in the clergy, serving as a priest for 52 years and as a bishop for 34 years.
Bakyenga was born on 30 June 1944, in Bumbaire Village, Igara sub-county, in present-day Bushenyi District in the Western Region of Uganda.
He attended pre-primary school in the church building at Bweeza, Bushenyi District. He went on to attend Ibaare Primary School before he joined Ibanda Preparatory Seminary from 1958 until 1960.
In 1961, he joined Kitabi Seminary, where he graduated with a High School Diploma.
He was admitted to Bukalasa Minor Seminary, in present-day Kalungu District for his A-Level studies but he did not complete them. He was expelled, along with others, for “indiscipline”.
After teaching briefly at Rushoroza Seminary, in Kabale District, he was then admitted at Katigondo Major Seminary, in Kalungu District to study philosophy but abandoned the course after two years.
At this point, Bishop John Baptist Kakubi of Mbarara, sent him to study at St Andrews College in Scotland, where he obtained a degree in Theology.
He was ordained a priest on 11 July 1971 at Mbarara at the age of 27. He served as priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mbarara, until 6 March 1989.
He was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Mbarara, Uganda on 6 March 1989. He was consecrated as bishop on 24 June 1989 at Mbarara by Bishop John Baptist Kakubi†, Bishop of Mbarara, assisted by Bishop Adrian Kivumbi Ddungu†, Bishop of Masaka and Bishop Serapio Bwemi Magambo†, Bishop of Fort Portal.
On 23 November 1991, he succeeded as bishop of Mbarara, replacing the late Bishop John Baptist Kakubi, who resigned. He was appointed Archbishop of Mbarara on 2 January 1999.