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By Godfrey Olukya
VOL African correspondent
June 16, 2021

COVID-19 has claimed the life of the North Kigezi Diocesan Bishop the Rt. Rev. Benon Magezi.

North Kigezi diocese is made up of 6 districts in western Uganda. He is the first active Church of Uganda Bishop to succumb to COVID-19.

In a statement released by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda His Grace Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, put out by the Provincial Secretary Rev. Canon William Ongeng, said Bishop Benon Magezi died on June 15th after a short illness.

"The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, regrets to announce the untimely death of the Rt. Rev. Benon Magezi, Bishop of North Kigezi Diocese," read the statement.

Christians in the Diocese have been greatly shocked by the death of Bishop Magezi because he never fell ill for a long time.

The lay leader of Saint Paul Church, in North Kigezi Diocese, Samuel Agaba said, "We have been shocked by his untimely death. We never heard that he was sick. We only got the shocking news that he had passed on. May almighty God rest him in peace."

Bishop Benon Magezi was consecrated and enthroned as 5th Bishop of North Kigezi diocese on 8th January 2017 at Emmanuel Cathedral, Kinyasano, Rukungiri.

Security Minister, Jim Muhwezi said he was shocked to learn of the death of his friend and friend of many, Bishop Magezi at such a time when the diocese needed him most.

"I learnt with a shock the demise of our beloved bishop, God gives and takes, I call upon the Christians to stand firm as we organise the burial," Muhwezi said in a message.

His former chaplain, Rev. Joseph Tusingwaire said bishop Magezi last attended a function at their Local church in Kyamakanda where he was installing the Archdeacon Rev. Polycarp Tumwesigye and was rushed to Mbarara hospital for management.

"Its only yesterday when I called and no one picked me but I have been communicating with him on a daily basis and there was hope of improvement only to hear that is dead," Tusingwaire said.

Prior to his election as Bishop, he served as Diocesan Treasurer of North Kigezi Diocese, and in many parishes. He was ordained a deacon in December 1991 and a priest the following year.

He earned a Bachelor of Divinity from the Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, in 2009, having earned both a Certificate and Diploma in Theology from Bishop Barham Theological College in 1990 and 1998, respectively.

He is survived by his wife, Gladys and their five children.


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