The Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga’s last words to the nation were full of encouragement and an appeal to government to stop the state inspired kidnappings, torture and killings especially of members of the opposition.
Lwanga was found dead inside his residence at Lubaga on Saturday morning, according to the secretary general of the Episcopal Conference Monsignor John Baptist Kauta.
His death was announced just hours after Lwanga, who also doubled as the chairperson of the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) preached a message of hope for Uganda after jointly leading the Ecumenical Public Way of the Cross with his Anglican counterpart Dr Stephen Kaziimba at Namirembe on Friday.
Lwanga together with the Church of Uganda Archbishop Kaziimba Mugalu and the Bishop of Namirembe Diocese Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira led Christians to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus.
At the event, Lwanga explained the importance of commemorating Good Friday, a day observed during the Holy Week preceding Easter Sunday when Jesus resurrected.
“Easter gives us a hope of restoration and it is the basis of our faith in God’s mighty power to bring back to life what has been snatched by the devil," he said.
"Even in the midst of death, the death of a loved one, a relative, a friend and all the consequences of there is hope for our resurrection and restoration.”
He encouraged Christians to have hope and strength as they celebrate Easter. Archbishop Lwanga also explained the purpose of UJCC, an ecumenical organization that was established in 1963. The current membership of UJCC comprises the Church of Uganda, The Roman Catholic Church and the Uganda Orthodox Church, which together constitute about 78 per cent of Uganda’s population.
While delivering the UJCC joint Easter message at Namirembe, Lwanga said that as shepherds and senior citizens of the country, they were deeply concerned about the actions of some security personnel in relation to the ongoing disappearance of people especially the youth.
"This is brewing anger, division and anxiety within the population - totally contravenes the human rights frameworks which we’re signatory as a country. We’re troubled by the disregard of these God-given rights and freedoms that shall weaken our social fibre, harmony, social cohesion and responsive leadership," said Lwanga.
Lwanga also noted the actions of some Ugandans who have been killing innocent people. He cited the case of Musa Musasizi, the prime suspect in the murder of four Kasubi women and a three months old baby. Lwanga then appealed to Ugandans to respect life and all other human rights.
"We have also heard reports of useless killings in the Acholi region, we therefore agitate and urgently call upon all Ugandans and security forces to respect the rule of law, human rights and the fundamental right to life. We should all remember that each one of us will be judged by our works and actions by the God almighty. Our actions should be geared at building a beautiful Uganda and promoting peace, justice and reconciliation at all levels," said Lwanga.
The late Archbishop also noted that religious leaders are called upon to strengthen the spiritual and moral fibre of the nation so that everybody lives in obedience to God.
“Shun violence, hatred and all other forms of immorality; we also call to lead by a good example and sow seeds of justice and peace and awaken society whenever it deviates from these ideals,” said Lwanga.
He also said that UJCC was greatly concerned with matters of peace and consensus-building, conflict transformation, mediation, negotiation, democracy and good governance in the country.