President Yoweri Museveni has praised the late Bishop Emeritus Barnabas Halem’Imana of Kabale diocese, for using religion to unite Ugandans.
The President was speaking at the Requiem Mass for the late Bishop Halem’Imana held at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Rushoroza in Kabale Municipality, to pray for the repose of the soul of the Bishop who died in Nsambya Hospital on 3rd January 2016 at 87 years.
The Archbishop of Mbarara Archdiocese, the Most Rev. Paul Bakyenga, led the Requiem Mass.
“I knew Bishop Barnabas so well. Uganda had so many evils but he removed them using religion. The people of Kigezi were divided along religion but he united them,” the President said.
Mr. Museveni recounted to the congregation that while in the bush, they did not forget about the teachings of the gospel adding that they put the gospel of God first.
He further explained that while in the bush, though some of the fighters were believers (Christians and Muslims) and others non-believers, they all put divisions of religion aside and loved each other.
The President revealed that Bishop Halem’Imana was one of the first religious leaders to receive them after the war.
“One of the first people to embrace us after the bush war, was the Bishop. After embracing us, other religious leaders, like the late Emmanuel Cardinal Nsubuga, also came,” he said.
Mr. Museveni further said that Bishop Halem’Imana played a big role in the fight against the HIV/AIDS scourge in Uganda.
“When we came into power, HIV/AIDS was killing so many Ugandans. We asked the Bishop to help fight the spread of the disease and preach against promiscuous behaviour. He agreed and worked for the Uganda AIDS Commission for about 12 years and the HIV-AIDS prevalence rate went down,” he noted.
Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, NRM Secretary General, Hon. Kasule Justine Lumumba, State Minister for Planning, Hon. Bahati David and 2 Bishops from Rwanda, Silveri Nzakamwita and Anthony Kabanda, among others, attended the funeral service.