Archbishop Ntagali: I forgive Otunnu

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NAKASEKE. The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda has said he has forgiven former Uganda Peoples’ Congress leader, Ambassador Olara Otunnu, for what he described as “causing drama” in church.

The incident happened in Mucwini, Kitgum district, last week during solemn prayer of dedication to mark 40 years since the martyrdom of Archbishop Janani Lumum. Ambassador Otunnu, one of the event co-organisers and brains behind declaration of a public holiday in honour of the Luwum, told Archbishop Ntagali that his action was out of order.

The annual prayers were held at Wig weng in Mucwini Sub County, Kitgum District where the remains of Archbishop Luwum were interred after his murder in 1977 allegedly on orders of former President Idi Amin.

However, while officiating at commissioning of St. Stephen’s Church in Wakyato Sub County, Nakaseke District, the head of the Anglican Church on Sunday said the allegations of him were false adding that if he intended to halt the service, “we would have sung the national anthem, but it was the case”. 

 “Otunnu was moving around dramatising that the Archbishop has interrupted the service to welcome the Vice President which was not the case.  I only stopped the service to welcome the Vice President who had come in the name of the President. We did not even sing the national anthem until we finished the service,” he said.

The top government officials arrived at the venue after the church service got underway.

“Even the Christians who were in the church can bear witness that nobody walked away in protest as portrayed by Otunnu, Archbishop Ntagali said, “But I forgive him because he is a politician.”

Ambassador Otunnu has been unavailable over two days to respond the Archbishop’s concerns that he engaged in drama at church.

Bishop Odur Karmi, the caretaker of Kitgum Diocese, accompanied Archbishop Ntagali to welcome the high-powered political entourage. Rtd Bishop of Kitgum Macleord Baker Ochola reportedly also complained that Archbishop Ntagali was wrong to have walked off the altar to welcome visitors while prayers were ongoing.

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