Land wrangles, welfare of clergy still a challenge as Luwero diocese celebrates 30 years

Bishop Eridard Nsubuga Kironde speaks ahead of Luwero Diocese 30th anniversary. Courtesy photo

Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Land wrangles and welfare of the clergy remain the greatest challenges facing Luwero Anglican Diocese as it marks 30 years of existence.

On Saturday, Anglicans will congregate at St Mark Cathedral church in Luwero town council to mark 30 years after the diocese was carved out of Namirembe Diocese in 1991.

Since its inauguration, the Diocese has been under the leadership of three bishops that include the late Bishop Minsusera Bugimbi from 1991-1996, Bishop Evans Kisekka from 1996-2015 and Bishop Eridard Nsubuga from 2015 to date.

In an interview ahead of the anniversary, Eridard Nsubuga Kironde, the Luwero Diocesan Bishop says that in the last 30 years, the diocese has recorded growth in numbers of Christians, churches and economic development.

Nsubuga says that the diocese now boasts of seven archdeaconries and 40 parishes spread in three districts of Luwero, Nakasongola and Nakaseke. The churches are administered by 63 clergymen and 344 lay leaders.

In infrastructure development, Nsubuga says that the diocese has 62 early childhood centres, 221 primary schools and 27 secondary schools.

Others are Ndejje University, Kiwoko hospital, Luwero Diocese Guest House, renovated St Mark Cathedral and constructed several health centres among other developmental projects.

But Nsubuga says that as they celebrate 30 years of existence, the diocese is struggling to sustain its retired and serving clergymen over low collections from churches.

He cited the period of COVID 19 lockdown where all clergymen missed the stipends over lack of collections living many languishing in abject poverty.

As a result, Kironde says they are hunting for 200 Million Shillings to complete the pension house, a commercial building in Luwero town which they intend to rent and get money to sustain retired priests.

Nsubuga said another great challenge is people who have encroached on church land and relatives of former landlords who donated the land to the church. He explained that the church is unable to compensate the encroachers neither process land titles for all land donated to it.

Some of the churches embroiled in land wrangles with residents include St Mark Cathedral, Namusale, Nakaseta and Kibaale among others.

Dan Mujjukizi, the Chairperson of Planning and Development Committee in Luwero Diocese say the encroachment has affected the expansion of churches as well as the establishment of projects on disputed pieces of the land.

Mujjukizi says that in some wrangles, church administrators are wrangling with their own Christians who encroached on the land but refused to vacate, demanding compensation which they can’t afford.

Mujjukizi says that in the early days, Church ministers put much emphasis on spiritual development and paid little attention to economic development which gave way to people to grab its land.

He however says that now, there is vigilance to protect the available land, acquire land titles where they can and develop some of them.



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