The Bishop of Ankole Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr Sheldon Mwesigwa, has told Christians of Itojo archdeaconry that they cannot use force to make him submit to their demand of going to South Ankole Diocese, but instead asked them to follow the right procedure.
South Ankole Diocese has its headquarters in Ntungamo while Ankole Diocese has its headquarters in Ruharo Mbarara
Speaking during the service at St. Augustine Church of Uganda on Sunday, his first visit to the archdeaconry since Christians openly protested his hold on the archdeaconry in December last year, Bishop Mwesigwa warned that force will not yield results.
“Keep in church and make sure the procedure is followed, make your demands through church meetings, not outside the church. But I want to tell you anywhere you will go, even when you go to the topmost, using force will never get you anything” he said.
Bishop Mwesigwa said he has forgiven those against him but added that he has powers to close the church if they remain adamant and fail to abide by the leadership.
“I want to thank you for being saved, and born again. I want to tell you that in our hearts we have forgiven you and have no problem with you. Whatever went wrong we seek to be forgiven too” he said
He added “I want to tell you that there is no one who has authority over church property including land, no Christian can come and say I want to use this land because it is ours. You hear some Bishop who closed the church and took away the keys. We have authority, it it goes to extremes. The locus of power is vested in the registered trustees of the church of Uganda not the Christians”
A section of Christians led by head of laity, Mr. Myers Tumusiime Katahwa, had planned to block the Bishop’s visit to Itojo archdeaconry. They however, later abandoned the move but did not attend the Sunday service.
“I decided to stay away so that iam blamed for anything that could have happened (during Bishop’s visit)”, Mr. Katahwa told MbararaCityNews
Christians in Ruhanga Parish Church of Uganda under Itojo archdeaconry in July rejected a priest sent to them by Ankole Diocese opting to have a lay leader as the head. Bishop Mwesigwa said this was self-defeating as they are denying themselves services. He asked Christians to remain calm as they seek God’s guidance through prayers.