Friday 20 October 2017

Uganda: Museveni Celebrates 70 Years of Baptism

Uganda: Museveni Celebrates 70 Years of Baptism
(Daily Monitor 08/08/17)
Uganda: Museveni Celebrates 70 Years of Baptism

Mbarara — President Museveni on Sunday celebrated 70 years of baptism at St Luke Church of Uganda, Kinoni Archdeaconry in Rwampara, Mbarara District.

This is the church where he was baptised on August 3, 1947. He said he was baptised when he was two years and 11 months old. According to the church records, Mr Museveni's baptism number is 3769.

He was baptised on the same day with his parents Amos Kaguta and Esteri Kokundeka (both deceased). The family members had converted to Christianity.

His parents remarried in holy matrimony the next day. They were baptised by Rev Eric Sabiiti who later became first Archbishop of Church of Uganda.

"I want to thank God for the 70 years I have spent baptised because those are many years, and yet I am still strong," Mr Museveni said at the thanks giving ceremony.

Further at the thanksgiving ceremony, Mr Museveni revealed that he was born in September 1944 and he said he will be 73-years-old next month. He however, said he doesn't have his birth certificate because he could not find it at Mbarara Hospital where he was born.

The thanksgiving ceremony to celebrate President Museveni's 70 years of baptism and his public pronouncement that he will be turning 73 next month, comes at the time when there is an ongoing informal debate of amending Article 102 to lift the presidential age limit.

This means that if the Constitution is not amended, then President Museveni who turns 73 next month, will not be eligible to seek a re-election in the next general election of 2021 because he will be above 75 years of age.

"I was born at Mbarara Hospital when it was still (at current) municipal council offices; it had not been shifted to where it is now (at Mbarara University). But when I went back to look for my birth certificate, I couldn't find it there. When I started asking old people they told me I was born in September (1944)," said Mr Museveni.

Mr Museveni, however, said he was able to get his baptism card at St Luke Church of Uganda in Rwampara. "When I joined high school in 1959, I enrolled for a confirmation course. But to get confirmed required one to have a baptism certificate. I travelled from Ntungamo to Kinoni to look for it. The wife to the then reverend (Karyabarwa) who I found at the church checked in the records and told me the date I was baptised. I paid for the certificate and took it," said Mr Museveni.

Ms Janet Museveni who had accompanied the President, hailed St Luke Church of Uganda for being organised and keeping all the records which many people and institutions were incapable of doing.

Ankole Bishop Sheldon Mwesigwa thanked the Kaguta family for the positive contribution in spreading religion and gospel in the area. He said through preaching of Kokundeka about 800 people under Kinoni Archdeaconry became born again Christians.

The President gave a cheque worth Shs100m to the diocese as contribution to Ankole Diocese Millennium Savings and Credit Cooperative Organisation, Shs10m cash to St Luke Church of Uganda, Kinoni Archdeaconry, and pledged Shs50m towards completion of the church building that is under reconstruction.

He also gave a cheque of Shs200m to Mothers Union of Ankole Diocese.

Date. Mr Museveni was baptised on August 3, 1947 at St Luke Church of Uganda, Kinoni Archdeaconry in Rwampara, Mbarara District when he was two years and 11 months old.

Age. Mr Museveni revealed that he was born in September 1944 and he said he will be 73-years-old next month.

Debate. If the Constitution is not amended, President Museveni, who turns 73 next month, will not be eligible to seek a re-election in the next general election of 2021.

By Felix Ainebyoona & Alfred Tumushabe

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