The Catholic Archbishop of Kampala Diocese Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has today said the churches are not at variance with the state. This is after he implored Ugandans to resist bad politics following the amendment of Article 102 (b) that removed both the lower and upper presidential age limit that was set at 35 and 75 years, respectively.
“Political issues affects lives of every Ugandan; every Ugandan is entitled to freedom of speech and expression conscience and belief,” said Archbishop Lwanga, in his New Year’s Day message.
“The church is not an enemy of the state,” added Archbishop Lwanga who came into limelight after he vehemently opposed the lifting of the presidential age limit bill, which was signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni in December last year, in the process expunging the 75-year cap.
Archbishop Lwanga, who was addressing mourners at the burial of the late Anglican Archbishop Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, said instead that the ‘church is the conscience of the state’.
“The remarks we make are none other than those telling the truth because the church is the conscience of the State,” the outspoken prelate told the congregation that also included President Museveni, who recently assented to the controversial bill.
Since then there has been an exchange of words between government officials and various clerics, with the latter imploring the former to restrain themselves from commenting on political issues.
President Museveni is one of those politicians, and in his New Year’s message to Ugandans, urged clerics to stay clear of politics, and accusing some of them of being arrogant.
“They talk most authoritatively on all and everything even when they have not bothered to find out the truth,” Museveni said.
Meanwhile, President Museveni has hailed Archbishop Nkoyoyo, saying he contributed to fighting poverty and uniting Ugandans despite their beliefs.
The retired Archbishop, who succumbed to pneumonia last week aged 79, has this afternoon been laid to rest at Namugongo Christian Martyrs Shrine.
Archbishop Nkoyoyo is survived by a widow, Ruth Nkoyoyo, and children.