By PATRICK JARAMOGI
KAMPALA, Uganda [SHIFT MEDIA NEWS] Women Rights activists have condemned the sacking of Rev. Nice Nahwera, a curate at Nyakabirizi Church of Uganda because her husband married a second wife.
The controversial move by the West Ankole Diocese Bishop Johnson Twinomujuni has sparked criticism and debate from the gender activists, and approval by the religious leaders. Bishop Twinomujuni, who is “feared’ as “tough” cited the stance of the Church of Uganda emphasizing that polygamy among ministers of the church cant be tolerated.
Reverend Nahwera has been married to her husband for over a decade. We have unearthed that the husband opted for a second wife after the 10 year marriage with Nahwera bore no children. The marriage, that Rev Nahwera okayed, a year ago has since bore fruits of one child.
Women Probono Initiative Interjects
In a strongly worded statement released by the Women’s Probono Initiative on Saturday, the Women’s Rights body noted with deep regrets the actions of the West Ankole Bishop, Johnson Twinomujuni. “We are deeply troubled and saddened by the recent actions taken by Bishop Johnson Twinomujuni, West Ankole Diocese Bishop, in response to the marital crisis faced by Reverend Nice Nahwera, a curate at Nyakabirizi Church of Uganda,” noted the release.
Ms Primah Kwagala the WPI Executive Director and Human Rights defender said: “It is with heavy heart that we express our utter dismay at the decision to terminate her from her position and subject her to public ridicule in the wake of her husband’s adultery”
Kwagala observed that as followers of Christ, they are called to show compassion, understanding, and support to those who are facing personal challenges. “The actions of Bishop Johnson Twinomujuni do not align with the principles of love, forgiveness, and grace that lie at the core of the Christian faith. We believe that the treatment of Reverend Nice has been unjust and lacks the pastoral care and empathy that she deserves during this difficult time,” noted the statement
WPI urged the leadership of Church of Uganda, specifically; The Most Reverend Stephen Samuel Kazimba Mugalu to reconsider this decision and extend the necessary support and pastoral care to Reverend Nice Nahwera. “It is crucial that Church of Uganda exemplifies the teachings of Jesus Christ by offering a spirit of restoration, healing, and understanding to all individuals involved in this situation,” they said.
Review Church Policies
On a related note, WPI called for a thorough review of the church’s policies and procedures relating to marital crises within the clergy and their families. “It is imperative that the Church establishes guidelines that prioritize the well-being and fair treatment of all individuals, while upholding the values of integrity and compassion that define the Christian faith,” said Kwagala.
She noted that the Church of Uganda has been at the helm of promoting the ordination of women in church leadership and ministry, and as such, the actions of Bishop Twinomujuni Johnson could be judged as unjust, abusive and to say the least unacceptable in a church that upholds principles of fair hearing. “Women constitute the largest population of Church of Uganda. Casting Rev. Nice out of leadership makes a statement about the value that the church attaches to women’s role to ministry in the church,” said Kwagala.
“As women that believe in just and fair communities, we commit to upholding Reverend Nice in our prayers and providing her with the support she needs during this challenging time. May we move forward with a spirit of reconciliation and grace, striving to reflect the love of Christ in all our actions and decisions,” they prayed.