By Michael Woira
Last week, the country received the worst breaking news of the death of one of the greatest men not only in Busoga, Uganda and in the religious circles but also someone who contributed a lot to the development of Uganda as a country in many aspects.
Retired Bishop Cyprian Bamwoze was named Busoga Diocesan Bishop in 1973 before I was even born but as a young man who grew up during his reign of leadership at Bugembe Cathedral, I should say that the country has lost a very important resourceful person not because he baptized me in 1992 but because there is a lot that he put in place that everyone in Busoga diocese looks at and appreciates plus very many other productive initiatives that he started up to empower the different groups of people in Busoga region. He sourced funds for relief projects like school, health and modern farming and most of all he was among the people who started up Busoga University the only Christian leaning University in Uganda that has been in Busoga for the longest time in history with a number of graduates.
The teachings of Bishop Bamwoze used to be good because he always used the local language that everyone understood though sometimes it was the hard Lusoga that could always leave people not understanding or else misinterpreting his message and I am very sure this was the main reason many people started taking him for a politician than a church leader .Though I was a Sunday school product during that time, our service could end early and we used to get time to also sit and follow the last bit of the service in the BIG Church where my family elders used to pray from but Bishop Bamwoze was always my best choice. More than anyone else, he became my mentor, theologian, and liturgical instructor. I intentionally adopted his style of speaking and writing as my own especially during those days that he could attend to certain functions and speaks to audiences using quotes, proverbs and many other words of the wise.
As a person who believed in creating peace with everyone, he really loved his kingdom Busoga and was one of those elders that Busoga looked at whenever there was something that required guidance and he was a lead person in making sure Busoga got a Kyabazinga after a long standoff without a cultural leader.
As no doubt all reading this feel, he was a special grace of God, not only to me but to more people than we shall know in this world. For now, we share with his family the loss that he described as having torn the fabric of life, but we know that the hope he held with such bold confidence will enable us to persevere in our own callings until we see him with the Risen One in that kingdom of glory which he proclaimed all his life.
While many of us sometimes disagreed with the topics he emphasized especially the political ones, the manner in which he expressed them, and the tone with which he challenged those of ruling government, I always knew that he loved Christ, his Church and his country and he must have decided to always criticize where necessary as a leader because all he said wasn’t because of his wish but because he was always representing the people he led in church. Happily, his many remarkable writings that he wrote and said will make it possible for him to continue his dialogue on faith in the public square.
Yes, he fought a good fight, fought poverty in the region, preached against hostility amongst tribes, preached against illiteracy, shared with the needy and contributed a lot to the construction of the Bugembe Cathedral Church and he deserves the decent burial that he was given at the church, Bishop, our prayers will always be with you and may the mighty angels always comfort you where you are. RIP