The High Court in Kampala has summoned Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanely Ntagali to respond to allegations by eleven canons that he has unlawfully taken over the management of West Ankole Diocese in Bushenyi district.
The canons led by Christopher Kisembo accuse Archbishop Ntagali of abusing his authority and violating the Constitution of the Province of the Church of Uganda by appointing a commission to select a new bishop for West Ankole Diocese following the retirement of Bishop Yona Katoneene at the beginning of this month.
Yona Katonene. File Photo
Canon Kisembo and his colleagues allege that Archbishop Ntagali has taken over the Episcopal jurisdiction of the diocese yet the West Ankole Diocese Synod members (the highest decision-making body of the diocese) had already set up a commission to select new bishop. They aver that Ntagali’s appointment of his own commission on October 2 to take over the diocese undermines the mandate of the Synod’s commission.
The clergy say Ntagali’s actions portray West Ankole as a failing diocese for which they are seeking court to declare his actions illegal and order him pay to them general damages and costs of the suit.
Bishop Katoneene during his farewell service at Bweranyangi Bushenyi Town on Sunday. PHOTO BY Zadock Amanyisa
“The act of the defendant of appointing a bishop’s commissiary for West Ankole Diocese was unlawful,” reads part of the canons’ petition.
The High Court deputy registrar Alex Ajiji has given Archbishop Ntagali 15 days from October 10 (Monday) to file his defence in court.