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Bishop of Swaziland and global environment advocate Ellinah Wamukoya dies from Covid

Bishop of Swaziland and global environment advocate Ellinah Wamukoya dies from Covid
She was the first African woman bishop in the Anglican Communion

January 19, 2021

[Anglican Communion News Service] The Bishop of Swaziland, Ellinah Wamukoya, died Jan. 19 after contracting Covid-19. Her death was announced by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. Bishop Ellinah, known around the world for her advocacy on environmental issues, was admitted to hospital late last week and put on Oxygen therapy after contracting Covid-19. She was 69.

"It is with profound sorrow that I have to announce the devastating news that the Bishop of Swaziland in eSwatini, the Right Revd Ellinah Wamukoya, died today", Archbishop Thabo said. "We express our deepest condolences to her husband, Okwaro Henry Wamukoya, their children and grandchildren. May her soul rest in peace."

The Anglican Communion's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Jack Palmer-White, paid tribute, saying: "She was wonderfully dedicated to so many causes -- particularly demonstrated through her leadership of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network for a number of years."

The Executive Director of the Anglican Alliance, Rachel Carnegie, added: "This is such desperately sad news. Bishop Ellinah was an inspiration to so many. A great loss to the whole Communion, but my prayers especially for her husband and family and those who worked most closely with her in the diocese, province and around the world."

Bishop Ellinah Ntfombi Wamukoya was elected Bishop of Swaziland in 2012, becoming the first female bishop in the Anglican Church in Africa. She was previously the Town Clerk of Manzini, eSwatini's commercial hub, having earlier served as the City Planner. She held a Master's degree in Town and Regional Planning.

"She had a history of serving in community offices and organisations, and had a long involvement with the Anglican Diocese of Swaziland. She was ordained priest in 2005. At the time she was elected bishop, she was Anglican chaplain to the University of eSwatini.

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