The Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has downplayed reports that he is plotting to overthrow President Yoweri Museveni.
Dr Lwanga’s comments were in reference to a phone call he reportedly received from an anonymous person indicating that the state had received information linking him to a plot to overthrow the government. The caller reportedly told him that government had recruited informants within the church set up, who had given information to the president on the alleged plot.
Lwanga said a lot of misleading information is being passed to the president by politicians, businessmen, civil servants, police officers, Internal Security Organization and the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) among others.
Lwanga was speaking to a congregation at Old Kampala playground where hundreds converged for holy mass, after taking part in the ecumenical public way of the cross, an annual procession held in the simulation of the journey of Jesus to the place of his crucifixion.
“A few days ago I get a telephone call and on the the telephone you can see the number of the person but it had ‘private’, so I didn’t know [who was calling]. This person had an accent from western Uganda and this is what he told me. That ‘there are many lies being told to the president’. Two, that ‘even members of these organisations have recruited your priests, your sisters, your brothers, even catechists and even seminarians.’ And I said, ‘what?’
Lwanga said the anonymous caller warned him to be careful, saying he might be the next Janan Luwum, the former Archbishop of Church of Uganda, who was killed by government operatives on February 16, 1977.
“Even this man [anonymous caller] told me last week that be careful my grace, you might be the next [Jana] Luwum. I said my goodness, if God wants me to die that way, I will. But if I am going to die for wrong accusations, that is criminal. You know for murdering people there are two things; you can shoot a person over what they call character assassination. So some members of ESO, ISO, CMI etcetera, they are character assassinating people and that is not good. But fortunately, those of you who are believers, there is still in a period of lent which are concluding tomorrow…I kindly call upon you to repent and stop telling lies,” Lwanga pleaded.
Lwanga, who expressed shock at claims that he wants to overthrow government appealed to the informants to stop telling the president lies.
“I call upon all of you, stop telling lies. Stop misleading our president. Mr president we love you very much and that is why we have been electing you. These people are your enemies. They’re going to make you fail because your mind is poisoned and you act on such information.”
The Archbishop, who described the misleading information as unfortunate and terrible, told Museveni that he was recruiting wrong people as informants. Lwanga said some of the informants were dismissed from the Church and now shine as saints before the president. Lwanga, who also doubles as the chairperson of Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), told the recruited clergy that they cannot serve in the church and security.
“Call us your excellency, even individually and tell us face to face hat is on the ground. Also be kind enough to tell us those recruited in ISO, ESO, CMI from our side and we’ll also tell you what concerns them so that you know who and why what they’re saying. But we forgive them, if you’re here present, please repent and remember why you became religious, why you became a leader in the church. Jesus said you can’t serve two masters at ago. The best thing is to resign.”
Today’s joint prayers were held under the theme “courage, the Lord is our strength and guide.” They were attended by the Archbishop Church of Uganda Stanley Ntagali, Bishop Hannington Mutebi of Kampala Diocese and Father Emmanuel Ssekyewa of the Orthodox Church among others.