The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba, has welcomed the a decision delivered by Justice Ssekaana Musa of the High Court and Head of the Civil Division on the case of Rev. Charles Oode Okunya (Plaintiff) vs. The Registered Trustees of the Church of Uganda (Defendant).
Justice Ssekaana Musa dismissed Rev. Okunya’s case when he ruled that the legal age of plaintiff ( Rev Oode Okunya)at the time when he was elected disqualified him from being a Bishop in the church of Uganda.
The House of Bishops had elected Rev. Okunya to be the 2nd Bishop of Kumi Diocese on 7th November 2019 following the constitution and Canons of the Church of Uganda that set the minimum age of 45 years for all candidates for Bishop.
However, after the election, it was discovered that Rev. Okunya’s date of birth had been falsified and that he was below the age of 45 years at the time of the election. The House of Bishops, therefore, nullified the election.
Rev. Okunya then sued the Registered Trustees of the Church of Uganda and claimed the right to become the 2nd Bishop of Kumi Diocese.
Following the decision of the High court, Archbishop Kaziimba said, “This lawsuit has held the Diocese of Kumi hostage for more than a year and a half and has prevented them from moving forward as a diocese. I am very grateful for retired Bishop Charles Odurkami for his willingness to come out of retirement and serve as the Caretaker Bishop while this case worked its way through the court system. He has done a great job of providing Gospel leadership in a challenging situation, and I thank him so much for his commitment to the Lord and the Lord’s people.”
The Archbishop further stated , “It’s always a great source of shame when Christians, especially clergy, take the church to court. We encourage grievances to be resolved outside of the courts in the way Jesus commanded us.
Kumi Diocese has been through a challenging season and it will take time for healing to occur. We encourage the various factions in the Diocese to accept the ruling of the High Court and to begin the process of reconciliation and healing. The process for electing a new Bishop will begin in due course.”