ARCHBISHOP VS WEST ANKOLE DIOCESE CANONS: HIGH COURT REMOVES NTAGALI FROM DIOCESE
BY WILBER MUHWEZI
High court civil division today Thursday stopped the archbishop of the church of Uganda his grace stanly Ntagali from heading and presiding over the troubled west Ankole diocese in south western Uganda.
In an interim injunction issued by justice Lydia Mugambe ordered archbishop Ntagali out of the diocese.
The above interim injunction was issued in the morning when archbishop was holding a meeting at Lake View hotel in Mbarara town to inaugurate an 8 member committee of commissaries whom he appointed recently to help him while administering west Ankole diocese.
The injunction among others stopped the archbishop from inaugurating the above commissaries.
“The inauguration of the bishop’s commissaries committee is hereby stayed until otherwise directed by this court” The interim injunction reads.
Still, the court appointed Rev. Can. Arthur Atwiine as the acting Bishop of west Ankole diocese. This therefore strips off powers from the archbishop to run the diocese which he had assumed on Oct. 02, 2016 after the retirement of then Bishop Yona Katoneene.
“The diocesan secretary Rev. Arthur Atwiine shall in the interim take charge of the diocese” The interim injunction reads.
Justice Mugambe also ordered that the main suit and the temporally injunction shall be heard on Oct. 31, 2016.
Archbishop Ntagali was represented in court by counsel Barnabas Tumusingize while Owen Murangira was for the six lay canons and five Christians.
The canons who took Archbishop Ntagali to court on Oct. 10, 2016 are Can. Christopher Kisembo, Can Yorakam Bashaasha, Can. Joram Tibasiima, Can Yorokam Batuna, Can. Ephraim Bamugyendera, Can. John Njoki.
Strong Christians are; Elly Kekuruso, Eliab Turyobingi, Emannuel Karasi, Mbeera Lawrence and Elidad Kamuza.
Archbishop Ntagali’s Mbarara meeting never proceeded because of the news of interim injunction which among others stopped the commissioning of the 8 commissaries.
According to the diocesan secretary of west Ankole diocese and now acting Bishop, Ntagali was advised by members of the committee to reconcile with 11 canons and strong Christians.
Still, in Justice Mugambe’s order, she directed the two parties to implore mediation before the hearing of the main suit on Oct. 31, 2016.
Bishop Yona Katoneene retired on Oct. 02, 2016 and never left a successor because the Christians in Sheema district who had been sharply opposed to him stopped the election of the new Bishop.
This was because they wrote to the house of bishops that the synod that elected electoral college then never followed the law. This however was heard and thereafter the synod was dissolved and a new one elected but the time was too short to elect a new bishop.
The constitution of the church of Uganda requires that an electoral college elects a bishop within six months and the current Electoral College is not yet one month old.