The making of the Ugandan Archbishop
By View Uganda
It’s not hot off the press, no breaking news here! But this is a profile that deserves a slot in our pages, a huge one. No doubt, Bishop Samuel Stephen Kaziimba of Mityana Diocese being announced the Archbishop-elect of the Church of Uganda is monumental. But for us, it was how much the public reacted to this news that sent waves of excitement down our newsroom.
Tempting as it might have been to dive into the rushed profiles, we thought we might let it simmer first and then see.
A post by a Makerere University Assistant Lecturer would be first to catch our eyes as soon as news of the new Archbishop started trickling in. A one Eunice Adubango, would pour a soulful rendition of the man that was going to be seated at the helm of the Church Of Uganda. To understand why the post held water, we must start from the beginning. She says while she was frowned upon by many for leaving a previous church and joining the Pentecostal church, her marriage not recognized, but the new Archbishop did no such thing. He was warm!
“Yes in the exact congregation where I once served I was told they don't think am married enough because of that word Pentecostal,” she writes. “And yet this one man of God came with retired Bishop Luzinda to my parent’s home one evening to bless me and release me. Yes, these men came to me complete with their titles and collars.”
She says that they made it clear to her parents that they had come to see her and not to visit the family. “They sat with me and spoke so kindly to me,” she recalls. “In his typical way of ministry where he says very few words unless he is on the pulpit, Rev. Kazimba thanked me for ministry in the church.” She continues, “He told me they loved me, were thankful for me and that I had been a blessing. He and Bishop Luzinda laid their hands on me in my parent’s house and let me go with their blessing and told me that what I was doing was not bad.”
Adubango goes as far as to call it “…the only kind remark I had heard in many months.” She quickly adds, “Such is the man. Very very very humble. Not excitable unless he is on the pulpit talking about the saviour he loves deeply.” She says a lot, but ends on a very satisfying note. “I am happy for this man. He is no doubt a good man,” she retorts. “A husband to one wife. A good father to his children. An encourager. I rejoice with the church of Christ.”
Born Stephen Kaziimba to Mr. Besweri Kaddu and Ms. Jessica Nanyonjo August 1962 at Gulama-Najja Kyaggwe, Uganda’s Archbishop elect is his mother’s first son. His name, Kaziimba was inherited from his grandfather a Lay-Leader who hailed from Kinoni-Kasoga Parish and Gulama-Nyenga Parish.
Raised solely by his mother in Makindye, a suburb in Kampala, Kaziimba went to Gakuwebwa Munno Nursery and Lusaka Primary School. But tuition was no walk in the park for a young Kaziimba who has since praised his uncle, Emmanual Mukasa (deceased) who was responsible for his High school education at Seeta College Mwanyanjiri.
Before joining the Madudu church choir in 1980, a youthful Kaziimba took to teaching Sunday-School, wherefrom he made the decision to get confirmed. A year later, he was serving as a catechist in his church, up to 1983. Today, he is not just the Archbishop elect, but husband to Magaret Bulya with whom he has four boys.
Despite the celebration of the news, it didn’t seem to deter a few mouths from whispering about a soiled selection process. To that, the Rt Rev Edison Irigei, the man responsible for convening the Bishops to elect an archbishop, shook his head. “We are led by the Holy Spirit. There is no outside influence and it’s a secret ballot,” he clarified. “As we convene, we call upon the Holy Spirit to lead us to elect someone who will serve God’s purpose. Government has no role whatsoever.” Irigei said that the new Archbishop will be taking over from Henry Ntagali, who retires next year in March after clocking the age of 65.
In his speech after his election at Namirembe Cathedral in Kampala, he committed to making sure he did what was expected of him. But first he would ensure the ministry reached every single person. He then spoke as the head, “Once the head is transformed, the heart is transformed and the hand is transformed to work and to support each other,” he said. “The head, the mindset, the heart, the emotions, one that conversion is done, you have a wonderful Uganda and peaceful.”
The 57 year old Kaziimba who told of his decision to receive Christ 35 years ago, maintained that his would be a holistic ministry. In an elated tone, he spoke of his joy at the news, “God has raised me from a Hut to State House, from a no-body to somebody from Shame to Fame, from Grass to Grace and from nowhere to somewhere”.
Journey to the top
- 1985, Lay-Leader Baskerville Theological College Ngogwe, later Lugazi St. Peter’s Church.
- 1988 – 1990 trained at Uganda Martyrs’ Seminary (Provincial Certificate), and ordained.
- He served as Assistant Vicar at Nakibizzi Parish in 1990 – 1994.
- In 1994 – 1996 Diploma in Theology at Bishop Tucker College
- 1997 – 2000 Katente Parish as Parish Priest.
- 1999-2001 transferred to Mukono Cathedral as Vicar and later Acting Provost of Mukono Cathedral
- 2002-2003 Master’s Degree in Theology at the Western Theology Seminary, USA.
- 2004 confirmed as the provost of St. Philip and Andrew‘s Cathedral.
- 2004-2007 goes for Doctorate of Ministry at Western Seminary USA and becomes a Canon in 2007
- 2008-2019, Bishop of Mityana Diocese