By Jjunju Francis
18th July 2023
The Catholic Church in Uganda has this morning lost one of the great men of God Paul Kamuza Bakyenga, the Emeritus Archbishop of Mbarara Archdiocese.
Archbishop Bakyenga has passed away at 79- years of age at Nsambya Hospital in Kampala, where he had gone for his regular check-ups.
The news of his demise was confirmed by Rev Fr Charles Mutabaruka, the communications director of the Mbarara Archdiocese.
Archbishop Bakyenga was born in Bumbaire, Igara, Bushenyi district in 1944. He was ordained as a priest in Mbarara in 1971 at the age of 27.
Later, at the age of 44, he was appointed the Coadjutor Bishop of Mbarara, positioning him to succeed Bishop John Baptist Kakubi. In 1991, when Bishop Kakubi resigned at the age of 61, Archbishop Bakyenga assumed the role of Bishop of Mbarara.
Under his leadership, the Mbarara Diocese was elevated to an archdiocese in 1999, and he became its first Archbishop. He was responsible for overseeing the Western ecclesiastical province, which covers the dioceses of Hoima, Fort Portal, Kasese, and Kabale.
Archbishop Bakyenga retired from his position in 2020 after serving the church and the people with unwavering devotion for several decades. He was succeeded by Lambert Bainomugisha.
One of the close friends to the late, the Executive Secretary for Justice and Peace Commission at the Uganda Catholic Secretariat Nsambya Dr. Emmanuel Kiiza Aliba says Archbishop Bakyenga dedicated his life to a distinguished career in the clergy, serving as a priest for 52 years and as a bishop for 34 years.
He says he always gave touching homilies that transformed lives of the Christians and all those in western Uganda.
He also passionately developed the region by supporting education, building schools and providing scholarships for the bright students out of the region but encouraged them to return and develop their area.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.