Maj. Gen Kahinda Otafiire speaking at the consecration ceremony on the weekend
- Godfrey Tugume
- 1160 times
The consecration and enthronement of Rev. Canon Benon Magezi as the fifth Bishop Of North Kigezi Diocese turned into a political battle ground on the weekend, as Justice Minister Rtd. Major General Kahinda Otafiire and Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Kaginda Mugume exchanged bitter words over the retirement of President Yoweri Museveni.
The contest began when MP Kaginda, who is also the opposition deputy chief whip in parliament, said that President Museveni needs to emulate the church that has always had peaceful handovers of leadership.
The MP remarked, “I am happy as the MP of this area to have witnessed the peaceful transition from Bishop Tugume Tusingwire to Bishop Benon Magezi. When I was sitting behind, I saw the army generals whispering; I don’t know what they were saying but I ask them to tell their boss president Museveni to also retire like Bishop Tugume - Tusingwire.”
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Archbishop Stanley Ntagali introduces Bishop Magezi as the new Bishop of North Kigezi diocese.[/caption]
The MP’s statement angered Minister Kahinda Otafiire who had represented President Museveni at the function and he shot back, stating that Bishops must retire because the constitution of the church commands them to do so, which is not the case with the national constitution.
Gen Otafiire said he knew that the opposition was frustrated with the long stay of Museveni but urged to remain patient.
“The time for handing over will come, and when it does the president and we as the ruling party are ready to do so in the event that we lose the election,” he said adding, “As for the president, he is soon clocking the maximum 75 years, beyond which he is not allowed to stand again as per our constitution.”
But before that, the minister urged the opposition to remain patient, noting,” we are still here. When our time comes to go, we shall leave.”
At the event, Otafiire said he was dismayed by the people of Rujumbura for voting out Rtd. Major General Jim Muhwezi, replacing him with Fred Turyamuhweza of FDC.
He said the constituents should have remembered the good things that Muhwezi and NRM did for them, in spite of the fact that Col Dr Kizza Besigye is a son of the soil.
Bishop Benon Magezi succeeded Bishop Tugume Tusingwire who has been at the helm of the diocese for the last six years.