Luwero, Uganda – The High Court in Luwero has summoned 37 bishops, including the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda (COU), Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, to present their defense in response to the annulment of the election of Rev. Canon Godfrey Kasana Ssemakula as the fourth bishop of the Luwero Anglican Diocese.
The decision to nullify Rev. Ssemakula’s election was made by the House of Bishops on June 28, 2023, during their gathering at Kabalega Resort Hotel in Hoima. The cancellation was grounded in allegations that Rev. Ssemakula’s integrity had been misrepresented.
This development stems from a group of Christians, led by Kenneth R. Kikabi, a member of St. Mark’s Cathedral, who petitioned Archbishop Kaziimba. They accused Kasana of fathering a child outside of wedlock, contending that this act violated the Ten Commandments and Canon laws. Subsequently seven Christians led by David Lule Mutyaba Muzzanganda, took legal action at Luwero High Court through Lubega and Company Advocates and Waymo Advocates.
Their legal action sought a declaration that the nullification of Kasana’s election was without legal effect. In October, The Principal Judge, Dr. Flavian Zeija, ruled against the petitioners finding their case lacked merit and dismissed it.
Undeterred, the four petitioners—Kakembo Moses, Ssajjabi Christopher Katende, Bemba Moses, and Ssendowooza Saight—decided to appeal the decision. Represented by M/S Kibirango & Partners Advocates, they allege that the House of Bishops violated basic human rights and breached care for the Christians.
The plaintiffs aim for a declaration that the defendants, the Bishops, breached trust by disregarding the principles of natural justice and the established norms of the Church when nullifying Rev.
Kasana’s appointment as the 4th bishop of Luwero Diocese. They also seek a declaration asserting that Rev. Canon Kasana remains the duly elected bishop of Luwero Diocese. The petitioners insist on a declaration from the Bishops that the nullification violated Rev. Canon Kasana’s right to a fair hearing.
Expressing their dissatisfaction, the petitioners further seek an order for the consecration/enthronement of Rev. Canon Kasana as Luwero Bishop. Additionally, they pursue an order of permanent injunction restraining the House of Bishops from electing another individual as the 4th bishop of Luwero Diocese.
Consequently, the High Court has summoned the bishops to present their defense within 15 days of receiving the summons, dated December 20, 2023, issued by Tumwebaze Kenneth, the Assistant Registrar. Failure to comply may result in the plaintiffs proceeding with the suit and judgment may be issued in their absence.