Museveni, Archbishop Lwanga, Odama Hold Talks at State House

Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala Archdiocese and Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese have visited President Museveni at State House.

According to presidential press secretary Linda Nabusayi, Museveni “held talks” with his guests.

“Museveni has met and held talks with Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga of Kampala Archdiocese and Archbishop John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese. The two Archbishops called on him at State House Entebbe today,” said Nabusayi, without divulging the subject of the talks.

In the past, Archbishop Lwanga and Bishop Odama have been critical of Museveni’s work method and political moves.

In 2017, the two clerics were critical of the controversial age limit removal scheme.

In December 2017, Odama warned Museveni against assenting to the age limit removal bill which had been passed by parliament.

“If what has been passed by Parliament is not the view of the majority citizens, then let him not append his signature because it will later torture his conscience. But if it is the voice of the majority, let him append it,” Odama was quoted as saying.

In 2004, Odama said he had forgiven Museveni after the president disagreed with Odama after the cleric suggested that the International Criminal Court (ICC) probes into the the Joseph Kony Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) war with the aim of assessing the extent of the crimes committed by the Ugandan army the UPDF.

Archbishop Lwanga was also critical of the age limit removal scheme.

He would later engage in a war of words with Museveni and government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo.

“Some of our religious people are so full of arrogance. They talk most authoritatively on all and everything even when they have not bothered to find out the truth,” said Museveni in his New Year’s message.

“This is assuming they do not have evil intentions which would be worse. That would make them into the Kayaffas, the Chief Priest that betrayed Jesus.”

Lwanga would later respond to Museveni a day later.

“The president, one day said all of us belong to the Movement system and he explained to us why he started the National Resistance Movement. He said; ‘I want people to resist bad politics’.  So he commanded people to resist bad politics,” said Lwanga in his New Year’s Sermon at Lubaga Cathedral.

“He [Museveni] said we should resist bad politics, and I think he was right there. Clap for it. Let us resist bad politics, let us resist bad politics and promote national unity because we’re all interested in this country and also to build a strong future for this country.”

He also responded to Opondo’s calls for clerics to put off their cassocks become politicians.

“Today people are calling us, especially religious leaders names and even at times abusing us, saying religious leaders must not talk about national issues. ‘If they want to talk about them, let them come out and stand for political posts’. I would like to assure everybody, don’t get worried of us. We’re not interested in political posts,” he said.  

“What we’re just doing is our work. So whoever maybe worried that we do what we do and say what we say because we want to stand, it is not true. We’re not interested and we shall not have interest either. What is being said is a wrong approach which diverts people from the sovereignty of the people which the national Constitution gives us all… Amongst the duties stipulated of a citizen in the Constitution, is to respect the freedom and rights of others to speak.”

Three months after the cold war, Lwanga would later talk to Museveni on phone and the two leaders agreed to meet at State House, Nakasero.

The meeting came on the heels of claims by Lwanga that he had received death threats and State House spies planted in the church.

In his message at Old Kampala playground during the way of the cross ecumenical mass, Lwanga told intelligence officers to stop feeding the president with wrong information after an anonymous caller told his the president had received intelligence reports that he (Lwanga) planned to overthrow the government.

“I call upon all of you [to] 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,” said the cleric.

And in mid-April 2018, Museveni was chief guest at Wekembe Sacco’s annual general assembly held at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

Museveni pledged Shs 500m for the Sacco.

And Lwanga joined Museveni in attacking the media for telling lies about their relationship.

“Your excellency, I would like to ask you to add your voice and ask the media to stop telling lies,” said Lwanga.

“The newspapers are a nuisance, especially Monitor and sometimes Red Pepper. It true they are doing everything possible to cause confusion in the society,” added Museveni when he rose to speak.

Samuel Kamugisha