Archbishop Emeritus Paul Bakyenga dies at 79
The first Archbishop of the Mbarara Archdiocese, Emeritus Paul Kamuza Bakyenga has died at the age of 79.
The communications director of the Mbarara Archdiocese, Rev Fr Charles Mutabaruka confirmed that Bakyenga passed away this Tuesday morning at Nsambya Hospital in Kampala.
Bakyenga was born on 30 June 1944, in Bumbaire Village, Igara sub-county, in present-day Bushenyi district. He attended pre-primary school in the church building at Bweeza, Bushenyi District.
He went on to attend Ibaare Primary School, before he joined Ibanda Preparatory Seminary from 1958 until 1960. In 1961, he joined Kitabi Seminary, where he graduated with a high school diploma.
He was admitted to Bukalasa Minor Seminary, in present-day Kalungu district for his A-Level studies but he did not complete. He was expelled, along with others, for “indiscipline”.
After teaching briefly at Rushoroza Seminary, in Kabale district, he was then admitted at Katigondo Major Seminary, in Kalungu District to study philosophy but abandoned the course after two years. At this point, Bishop John Baptist Kakubi of Mbarara, sent him to study at St Andrews College in Scotland, where he obtained a degree in Theology.
He was ordained a priest on 11 July 1971 at Mbarara at the age of 27. He served as priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mbarara, until 6 March 1989.
He was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Mbarara, Uganda on 6 March 1989. He was consecrated as bishop on 24 June 1989 at Mbarara by Bishop John Baptist Kakubi, Bishop of Mbarara, assisted by Bishop Adrian Kivumbi Ddungu, Bishop of Masaka and Bishop Serapio Bwemi Magambo†, Bishop of Fort Portal.
On 23 November 1991, he was ordained as bishop of Mbarara, replacing the late Bishop John Baptist Kakubi, following his resignation.
On 2nd January 1999, he was appointed Archbishop when Mbarara Diocese was elevated to an archdiocese subsequently making him the first Archbishop of Mbarara Archdiocese until he retired in 2020.
Pope Francis accepted his resignation on 25 April 2020 and he was succeeded by Lambert Bainomugisha as the Catholic ecclesiastical province of Mbarara – comprising the dioceses of Kabale, Kasese, Fort Portal and Hoima.