Uganda: Muhabura Christians Defy Court

( [email protected] ) Nov 17, 2003 10:07 AM EST

Several Christians in Kisoro led by the district chairman, Mr Philemon Mateke, have elected a new Electoral College for Muhabura diocese.

A church leader, Mr Emmanuel Ziraguma, said the college nominated two people on Thursday to be presented to the House of Bishops for the election of a new bishop of Muhabura.

Mityana's retired bishop Mutebi chaired the meeting.

"We shall not be a party to that so called synod and diocesan council meetings and resolutions made there from," the members stated in a letter.

The development is an apparent defiance of a November 3 High Court ruling instructing the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Rt. Rev. Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo to consecrate the bishop elect, Rev. Can. David Sebuhinja.

The House of Bishops elected Sebuhinja as bishop of Muhabura in September 2001 following Bishop Michael Shalita's retirement.

Then last year, the church set several dates for Sebuhinja's consecration and enthronement but since most Christians were not in favour of Sebuhinja, they caused chaos in the diocese.

They preferred Dr John Baganizi. Consequently, Nkoyoyo took over as caretaker bishop but Mateke sued him for illegally taking over the diocese. However, other Christian leaders, including members of the synod disassociated themselves from the Thursday meeting that ends today.