Moses Banja Assumes Leadership as Namirembe Diocese’s Sixth Bishop in Grand Ceremony

Rt. Rev. Moses Banja was consecrated and enthroned as the sixth bishop of Namirembe Diocese, succeeding Bishop Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, who retired due to reaching the mandatory age. The festivities on Sunday began with ceremonial drumming, heralding the start of the service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. West Buganda Diocesan Bishop Henry Katumba Tamale led the service, setting the tone for the day.

At 10:43 am, the consecration ceremony began, with Church of Uganda Provincial Secretary Canon Captain William Onen leading the legal proceedings. Ven. Canon Henry Sagawa, the Diocesan Secretary, presented the minutes of the Diocesan Synod, where Bishop Luwalira expressed his retirement intention. Diocesan Chancellor Frederick Joshua Mpanga followed, reading the nomination committee’s minutes proposing two candidates for the position.

After signing and authenticating the documents, the Provincial Secretary read the House of Bishops’ minutes, confirming Moses Banja as the newly elected chief shepherd of Namirembe Diocese. Archbishop Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu affirmed and signed the appointment. Caretaker Bishop James William Ssebagala of Luweero Diocese and Onzelle of Nebbi Diocese nominated Banja to Archbishop Kaziimba Mugaru for formal acknowledgement and consecration as bishop, following Canon Law.

By 11:00 am, Archbishop Kaziimba-Mugalu initiated the examination ritual of the new bishop, ensuring his appropriate conduct in the Church of God. After scrutiny, Banja robed in his bishop’s attire in the vestry, symbolizing the official start of his role as the sixth bishop of Namirembe Diocese. Upon his return, the Archbishop consecrated him, introducing Moses Banja to the congregation amid enthusiastic celebration.

Bishop Luwalira ceremonially handed over the instruments of power to the Archbishop, reflecting on his 14-year, 15-month tenure as bishop. Expressing gratitude, he thanked the Lord and acknowledged the support of bishops, clergy, and the faithful. He committed to daily prayers for the new bishop and encouraged him to preach, convince, and convert new souls. Bishop Luwalira urged collaboration and support from clergy and the faithful for the new bishop.

The Archbishop transferred pastoral items to the new bishop, officially enthroning him as the Bishop of Namirembe Diocese. Bishop Nathan Ahimbisibwe of South Ankole Diocese, the day’s preacher, delivered a sermon emphasizing leadership responsibilities awaiting Banja. In a lighthearted moment, he interpreted the traditional address of “my lord bishop” as emphasizing the potential burden on the bishop.

Ahimbisibwe advised Banja to recognize his vision and purpose, emphasizing the importance of sharing resources with those under his care. He cautioned shouldering the burden alone and encouraged collaborative efforts. The preacher also warned against individuals who may appear supportive but work against leadership’s interests.

Moses Banja, elected through the House of Bishops at St. Stephen’s Cathedral Naluwerere, succeeded Rt. Rev. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira. Before his election, a committee investigated complaints of irregularities in his nomination, concluding that none were found. Banja, born on October 20, 1964, embraced Christianity in 1989, entered the ministry in 1996, and served as the Archdeacon of Luzira Archdeaconry before his episcopal role.