THREE Ugandan bishops were injured in a car accident this week on the Fort Portal to Kyenjojo road, and the wife of one of them was killed. Last week, on the same stretch of road, the Bishop of Rwenzori, the Rt Revd Patrick Kyaligonza, aged 46, who had been tipped as a future archbishop, died in an accident.
The Rt Revd Patrick Gidudu, of Mbale, the Rt Revd Augustine Salimo, of Sebei, and the Rt Revd Daniel Gimadu, of North Mbale, were taken to hospital on Tuesday after their vehicle crashed. They were on their way to Bishop Kyaligonza’s funeral. Bishop Gimadu’s wife died instantly, Amanda Onapito, the director of communications for the Church of the Province of Uganda, told Episcopal Life Online.
Bishop Kyaligonza, who was consecrated on 22 February 2009, had been travelling to an aunt’s funeral when he died. His wife, Rose Kabahita Mujungu, suffered fractured legs in the crash, and his chaplain, Moses Tembo, was critically injured, Uganda’s news website The New Vision reported. The driver, Patrick Isingoma, received minor injuries.
The Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Revd Henry Orombi, who was visiting Uganda Christian University on Monday, where Bishop Kyaligonza had studied theology, said: “We thank God that we have a person to pray for and remember. In life, people come and go. We shall always remember the legacy left behind.”
The diocese of Bristol is linked with the Church of the Province of Uganda. Last week, the Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Michael Hill, said: “My wife, Anthea, and I were with Bishop Patrick and Rose and their dear family three weeks ago in Fort Portal. News of his death and Rose’s injuries is a very deep shock.
Bishop Patrick was a fine servant of the gospel, and a wonderful human being. He was greatly loved by the people of his diocese and the wider Church of Uganda, and by the people of Bristol diocese who knew him and Rose.”
The diocesan Lent appeal would now go to sponsoring Patrick Kyaligonza Scholarships to train Ugandan clergy at the Uganda Christian University, he said. The website AllAfrica.com quoted Professor Stephen Noll, Vice-Chancellor of the university, who described the late Bishop as a “brilliant student who was inspirational to others”.
The New Vision quoted Professor Edward Rugumayo, Minister of Internal Affairs in Uganda, as saying: “He was an influential and strong preacher. He has been the youngest bishop in the Church of Uganda, who was looked at as the next archbishop.”