Kigezi Bishop in Spotlight for Failure to Discipline Errant Priest Top story

4434 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
A section of Christians from Kigezi Diocese have faulted Bishop George Bagamuhunda for failing to crack a whip on a priest who fathered a child outside the wedlock and abandoned both mother and child. In May this year, Venerable Reverend Edward Mwesigwa was dragged to police for child neglect. The child, a boy, is now about 14 years and in primary seven at Rubaya Primary School in Kabale district.

A section of Christians from the Anglican Diocese of Kigezi have faulted Bishop George Bagamuhunda for failing to crack a whip on a priest named in a sex scandal. 

Venerable Reverend Edward Mwesigwa has been married to Anna Kanyorobe for 27 years and the two have four children.
In May this year, however, Reverend Mwesigwa was dragged to police for neglecting a child he allegedly fathered outside the wedlock.  Last week, he transferred from Nyabirerema Archdeaconry where he was serving as Archdeacon to work in the diocesan Water and Sanitation department.
The child's mother, 35-year-old Winnie Ndyomugyenyi, who hails from Butanda Sub County in Kabale district, claims she had sex with Reverend Mwesigwa on November 24, 2002. At the time, Mwesigwa was serving as the Parish Priest of Rubaya Church of Uganda.
When she conceived and later gave birth, Ndyomugyenyi says the priest abandoned her and declined to take care of the child. He reportedly only provided two thousand shillings to buy a baby shawl for a child in 2003.
The child, a boy, is now about 14 years and in primary seven at Rubaya Primary School in Kabale district.
Christians claim that though the matter was reported to the Bishop's Office, he has never intervened or taken action. Christians say that the silence of the Bishop's office is a sign that he is shielding the priest which, they add, is against Christian values.
In a petition dated September 1, 2017 signed by over two hundred Christians across the diocese and addressed to the Office of the Bishop of Diocese of Kigezi, Christians want the embattled priest suspended from his duties and investigated.
Shilah Kemigyisha, one of the concerned Christians from All Saints Archdeaconry in Kabale Municipality, says that she was forced to sign on the petition after realising that the office of the bishop is quiet about the matter despite many years it has taken.
Kemigyisha says that it is hurting to find that Mwesigwa is still in service without being sanctioned and investigated yet he is being implicated in an extramarital relationship. She says the Bishop should sermon Mwesigwa and decide on the future of the child.
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Medard Byamukama another Christian from Kashenyi Church of Uganda in Bubaare Archdeaconry says that he has been waiting for any administrative action from the bishop in vain.
Byamukama says that once the Bishop keeps a deaf ear about such a scandal, it will create disharmony between the clergy and the laity.
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Winston Tumuhimbise, a Christina from Rubaya Church of Uganda Parish in Rukore Archdeaconry, says that he was forced to sign the petition after family members kept on complaining about failure by Mwesigwa to take care of the now 14-year-old boy.
Tumuhimbise says that such a man should not be church leader.
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Bishop Bagamuhunda admits that his office has already received the petition from the Christians demanding him to intervene into Reverend Mwesigwa's alleged sex scandal. He calls for calm saying that the priest cannot be interdicted without following proper procedures. He however adds that the diocesan tribunal is handling the matter.
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Reverend Mwesigwa, however, insists that he is innocent adding that Ndyomugyenyi is only being used by his enemies who want to tarnish his image.   

Reverend Mwesigwa is not the first priest in Kigezi Diocese to be implicated in a sex scandal. In May 2016, Reverend Julius Kyarikunda, the Parish Priest of Ikamiro Church of Uganda in Muko Archdeaconry, was defrocked after he pleaded guilty to fathering a child out of wedlock.
The mother of the child, Medias Akankwasa, was a member of the same church. The proest abandoned her and the child.
In January 2013, Reverend William Asiimwe, the parish priest of Kikore Church of Uganda in Kamuganguzi Archdeaconry, was arrested on allegations that he defiled a 16-year-old girl who was a student of St. Janani Luwum Secondary School in Kabale district.
In September 2007, Reverend Kenneth Byaruhanga was also defrocked for allegedly impregnating a minor.


About the author

Samuel Amanya
Samuel Amanya is the Kigezi Region URN bureau chief. Kabale, Kisoro, Kanungu and Rukungiri districts fall under his docket. Samuel Amanya has been a Uganda Radio Network reporter since August 2016. Before becoming a URN staff reporter, Amanya had written for the network for several years as a freelancer.

Amanya was also a Voice of Kigezi reporter from 2011 to 2016.

A journalism graduate from African College of Commerce Kabale, Amanya values his independence. Amanya says URN is a home for his talent because it lets him explore his journalistic interests without limits.

Amanya is fascinated by the crime beat and some of his best stories have come out of that interest. Amanya says he aims to be all round beat reporter.