Kabale- A Christian from Kitanga Catholic Parish in Kabale District has written to the bishop of Kabale Diocese, accusing Fr Gaetano Batanyenda of messing up the parish.
Mr Vanancio Turyasigura in his May 3 letter to Bishop Callist Rubaramira, which also copied to the diocese’s vicar general, claims that the outspoken parish priest has abandoned believers among a list of allegations. “… Your lordship, there are no seats in Kigata Parish headquarter church, there is no functional parish council in place, Fr Batanyenda has no time for the sabbatical work at the parish as we hardly see him in the church services on Sundays and has devoted most of his time to politicking …”reads the letter in part.
The vicar general, Msgr Silverio Twinomugisha, acknowledged receipt of the letter but said he had not attended to it because it was addressed to the bishop.
When contacted last Friday, Bishop Rubaramira said the letter was addressed to him and not the press, before adding that he was not sure whether he had seen it. “If the letter is addressed to me, it’s me to deal with it and not the press,” he said.
In response to the allegations, Fr Batanyenda, while quoting the Holy Bible, said: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Mathew 5:11-12).”
He added: “Whereas it’s true that chairs in the church are very old, plans are under way to replace them, the rest of the allegations are baseless and malicious.”
Fr Batanyenda alleged that the names of the author are fictitious and they do not have a Christian by those names in the parish. “We have since established that the author of the letter is a protestant trying to blackmail the Catholic Church,” he said.
“If they claim that I do not have a parish council how have we managed to put all the infrastructure development in the parish which they are thanking me for?” Fr Batanyenda said.
Fr Batanyenda was ordained as a priest in Kabale Diocese in 1975. He served as a parish priest for Machuro in Kanungu District, Rushoroza in Kabale District. In 1994 he was sent to Kitanga Parish where he has been serving to date.