The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda Dr. Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu has received scorn from different corners of the Christian and non-Christian community for allegedly mishandling the sex scandal of his predecessor Dr. Stanley Ntagali.
Early this week, a letter that Dr. Kaziimba wrote to the members of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) informing them of his decision to suspend his immediate predecessor from conducting any further duties as a clergy or represent the church until further notice.
Kaziimba’s critics argue that he would have disciplined his predecessor privately without necessarily publicising the transgressions of his predecessor. They argue that this exposure damages the reputation of the Church and is likely to divide rather than unite the Church.
Edward Tujunirwe, posted on Facebook, that: “Archbishop Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu and hit team at the Church of Uganda assume that everything that comes their way must be publicised –very clearly he’s not handled the situation well.”
But others have insinuated that Kaziimba had actually tried to keep the secret for sometime until it threatened to tarnish the reputation of the church because the information had reached some members of the GAFCON community anyway.
It is alleged that the woman, identified as Judith Tukamuhabwa, who had ran away from two previous marriages, including with a Reverend, before she entangled Ntagali, had become a pain in the flesh of the Archbishop by threatening to spill the beans as blackmail to extort money from the prelate. Sources say that Ntagali had sold a considerable proportion of his estate to silence Tukamuhabwa, but that the money was going into a bottomless pit.
Insiders say that Ntagali got fed up with the blackmail and confessed to a few people at Namirembe. In the meantime, Tukamuhabwa was pushing for divorce from her husband Rev. Christopher Tugumenawe and wanted a chunk of their property.
It is possible that the divorce fight, led to the spilling of the beans about Tukamuhabwa’s relationship with Ntagali, with whom she has a child.
Daily Monitor has reported that Dr. Kaziimba has met with Tugumenawe, perhaps to calm storm.
It is possible that part of the criticism being directed at Kaziimba arises from the pain and heartache that Christians are enduring. However many are choosing to deflect blame to Kaziimba instead of directing it towards Ntagali himself for unknown reasons.
There are still others who sympathise with Kaziimba and the way he handled the situation.
Edward Muganga, the Vice President of the Christian Men Fellowship of Mityana Diocese where Kaziimba served for 11 years as Bishop before he was elected the the highest office in the faith, argues that the reigning Archbishop is a man of impeccable integrity and a firm believer in the sanctity and holiness of Christian marriage.
“I know Dr. Kaziimba is a man of integrity but also a strong-willed person who takes a firm stand against matters that deviate from scripture, no matter the consequences. I have seen him take a firm stand against homosexuality. He told Americans that he would rather remain poor but that would oppose homosexuality.
“Of course we cannot judge His Grace (Dr. Kaziimba) nor should we put him under fire, but I believe that the Archbishop rightly determined that the reputation of the Church was being endangered if he tried to cover things up,” Muganga adds.
Muganga does not however shy away from the fact that the allegations have pierced the hearts of many Christians. He warns however that bad as it may be, Christians should not use the incident to pass judgement or use it as an example to justify any deviations that go against scripture, rather he says that all Christians can do is to pray for Ntagali’s forgiveness by the Almighty.
“Sin is sin and knows no hierarchy. But we must appreciate that Jesus forgave an adulterous woman but warned her not to do it again,” says Muganga.