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PROFILE: Who is Canon Moses Banja, the new Bishop of Namirembe Diocese

Ven. Canon Moses Banja is the new Bishop for Namirembe Diocese. (Photo/Handout)

Kampala, (UG): The House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda Monday announced that Ven. Canon Moses Banja has been selected as the 6th Bishop of Namirembe Diocese.

Canon Banja who replaces the retiring Bishop Rt Rev Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira was selected during the provincial sitting held at St Stephen’s Cathedral Naluwerere in East Busoga Diocese on Monday, November 20, 2023.

According to the tentative information released this afternoon, Canon Banja will be consecrated and enthroned as the Bishop of Namirember Diocese on Sunday, 10th December 2023 at St Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe.

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Profile Background

Moses Banja was born on 20th October 1964 in Nakabugo Bbira, Busiro. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour on 3rd December 1989. He was ordained in 1996 and priested in 1998.

He is married to Rev. Canon. Prof. Olivia Nassaka Banja and God has blessed them with three Children.

Ven Canon Moses Banja holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Divinity from Makerere University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education from Makerere University.

He is currently the Archdeacon of Luzira Archdeaconry in Namirembe Diocese.

Controversy surrounding the Bishop selection

Elections for the new Namirembe Bishop were recently deferred to allow investigations by the nominations committee into the nomination of Ven Canon Banja and Rev Abraham Muyinda, the Vicar of Namirembe Cathedral who had emerged as the best candidates from the list of 13.

It should be remembered that the Christian community in Namirembe Diocese has in the past expressed deep concern over the prolonged delay in the election of a new Bishop.

This issue although remains unresolved, left Christians urging those responsible to expedite the process, citing alleged glitches in the nomination procedure.

Reports had surfaced suggesting irregularities in the nomination process, prompting an investigation and a subsequent postponement of the election.

The controversy began when allegations arose that some bishops were illicitly nominated. Complaints centred on concerns related to the transparency and fairness of the nomination process, citing allegations of corruption, conflicts of interest, and a lack of due diligence in vetting candidates.

Church elders escalated their grievances to Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, and the House of Bishops took action by deferring the election of the next Bishop of Namirembe Diocese. The church has not yet reached a final decision as the nomination process is still underway.

The selection process began in May, with the Namirembe Diocesan Synod electing a nomination team tasked with nominating two eligible priests for the position. This committee, chaired by Fred Mpanga, identified 13 candidates for consideration.

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However, tensions arose during the Synod’s decision-making process, with disagreements over the candidates’ vetting and election procedures. Despite the disagreements, two names were eventually forwarded to the House of Bishops.

The committee has consequently forwarded its findings to the House of Bishops which elected Ven Canon Moses Banja.

Canon Banja will now become the sixth Bishop of Namirembe Diocese to replaced Rt Rev Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira who will be retiring on December, 8 after clocking the mandatory age of 64.

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