Embattled Kitgum Diocese Bishop Benjamin Ojwang is protesting the Church’s withdrawal of his official car, arguing that the move has crippled his pastoral duties.
Bishop Ojwang, 63, who is the leader of the Anglican Church in Kitgum Diocese, has been embroiled in a conflict with Church of Uganda (CoU) leaders and a section of Christians in the diocese who have questioned his leadership abilities.
Speaking to Daily Monitor last week, Bishop Ojwang said in December last year, the key to his official car was taken away from him.
“For all this while, I have been moving on foot, or getting a lift from my friends whenever I want to carry out my pastoral work within the diocese. I want someone to explain to me why I can’t use my car yet I am the bishop and entitled to it,” he said.
In a January 30 letter seen by this newspaper, Archbishop of the CoU Stanley Ntagali wrote to Bishop Ojwang, asking him to hand over the bishop’s office, official car and other assets.
However, the High Court in Gulu presided over by Justice Margaret Mutonyi last month issued a temporary court injunction restraining the CoU from removing Bishop Ojwang from office.
Bishop Ojwang said: “I want Archbishop Ntagali to know that my rights are being violated, and as a bishop, I should not be treated like this. He should intervene to settle the matter.”
Archbishop Ntagali, in a telephone interview, however, said Bishop Ojwang is no longer the Kitgum Bishop and should not use diocese property.
“In the January letter I wrote clearly that he should handover the diocese and all the properties. However, it is the court injunction that is still impeding our move to take over the diocese,” he said.
He added: “We had a meeting at Lweza Conference Centre in January and a two third majority of the bishops in the house adopted Bishop Ojwang’s dethronement on resolutions made by the Kitgum Diocesan synod. So as Church of Uganda, we still carry on with the decision.”
Bishop Ojwang, who took over Kitgum Diocese in 2002, according to the CoU canon law, should retire in 2017, when he clocks 65 years.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor