Luwero, (UG): The High Court in Luwero has summoned 37 bishops, including the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda (COU), Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu to defend themselves against the cancellation of the election of Rev. Canon Godfrey Kasana Ssemakula as the fourth bishop of the Luwero Anglican Diocese.
On June 28, 2023, the House of Bishops, convening at Kabalega Resort Hotel in Hoima, resolved to nullify Rev. Ssemakula’s election based on allegations that his integrity had been misrepresented.
This development arose after a group of Christians, led by Kenneth R. Kikabi, a member at St. Mark’s Cathedral, petitioned Archbishop Kaziimba, accusing Kasana of fathering a child outside wedlock, which they claimed violated the Ten Commandments and Canon laws.
Consequently, seven Christians, led by David Lule Mutyaba Muzzanganda, filed a suit at Luwero High Court through Lubega and Company Advocates and Waymo Advocates.
They demanded a declaration that the nullification of Kasana’s election was null and void and held no legal effect.
In October, The Principal Judge, Dr. Flavian Zeija, ruled that the petitioners’ case lacked merit and subsequently dismissed it. However, the four petitioners namely Kakembo Moses, Ssajjabi Christopher Katende, Bemba Moses, and Ssendowooza Saight decided to appeal the decision.
Through M/S Kibirango & Partners Advocates, the plaintiffs accuse the House of Bishops of violating basic human rights and breaching care for the Christians.
They seek a declaration that the defendants breached the trust placed in them by disregarding the principles of natural justice and the Church’s established norms while nullifying Rev. Kasana’s appointment as the 4th bishop of Luwero Diocese.
Additionally, they demand a declaration that Rev. Canon Kasana is still the duly elected bishop of Luwero Diocese. The petitioners also insist on a declaration from the Bishops that the nullification breached Rev. Canon Kasana’s right to a fair hearing.
The disgruntled petitioners further seek an order for the consecration/enthronement of Rev. Canon Kasana as Luwero Bishop. They also pursue an order of permanent injunction restraining the House of Bishops from re-electing another person as the 4th bishop of Luwero Diocese.
As a result, the high court has summoned the bishops to defend themselves. In the summons dated December 20, 2023, issued by Tumwebaze Kenneth, the Assistant Registrar, the Bishops have 15 days to file their defense from the date of service of the summons.
Court warned that failure to comply may result in the plaintiffs proceeding with the suit, and judgment may be given in their absence.
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