Rt. Rev. Cranmer Mugisha, the Diocesan Bishop of Muhabura has expressed his desire to retire early, a highly placed church source has revealed.
The Anglican bishop, under the Church of Uganda began his pastoral work back 2007, taking over from Bishop Emeritus Ernest Munyambabazi Shalita, who later succumbed to prostate cancer at Mulago hospital in 2011.
Bishop Cranmer is the second Bishop of Muhabura diocese after its formation back in 1991.
Muhabura diocesan Secretary Rev. Steven Ruzaza said the Bishop’s intentions to retire were formally communicated during a diocesan council meeting held on the 13th of September, 2021.
The revelation comes following a decision by the Government to re-open churches following a 60 day worship ban due to Corona virus disease.
While speaking to Vomuhabura, Rev. Ruzaza did not spell out the exact reasons for Bishop Cranmer’s early retirement plans nor the actual date of the planned handover, however he noted that the idea, was welcomed by the diocesan council.
Bishop Cranmer’s right hand man further noted that under the leadership of Bishop Cranmer, Muhabura diocese, which is one of the youngest dioceses, under the Church of Uganda has gained various achievements.
“During the tenure of Bishop Cranmer, we have built over 260 rain water harvesting tanks, we have planted over 44,000 Pine trees, We built seven classes at Kargwa Primary School, He completed Muhabura Guest House, We have Potters Village which has a pediatric unit, a hatchery, chicken house, piggery, a vocational training institute among others”, Rev. Ruzaza explained.
Rev. Ruzaza further noted that the physical achievements can only be attested to his spiritual leadership that managed to unite Christians who had been deeply divided during the tenure of the late Bishop Shalita.
“You know he succeeded a diocese that was in a crisis. People who could not eat together can now dine together and all the projects that have succeeded is because of his Godly leadership”, Ruzaza emphasized
Diocese in a Crisis
Bishop Cranmer’s decision to retire early has left unsettling feeling of uncertainty as many Christians are left wondering who will become the next bishop of Muhabura.
The former Diocesan secretary Canon Baker Habimana says it is important for Bishop Cranmer to communicate the exact date of his handover so that the church can plan for its future.
“What we need now, is a peaceful transition so that Christians can look to the future with hope”, Habimana said
Back in 2006, Archbishop of Uganda Luke Orombi and 13 other bishops consecrated Rev Cranmer Mugisha bishop of Muhabura diocese five years after Bishop Shalita’s official retirement.
The five year period before Bishop Cranmer’s ascension was one of the most tumultuous times for the young diocese.
During that time, Bishop Shalita is said to have defiantly held onto the pastoral work long past his retirement time sparking succession struggles that rocked Muhabura diocese.
The situation worsened after the Bishop emeritus radically recommended Rev. David Sebuhinja as his replacement much to the anger of the Muhabura Christian community and leaders.
This triggered a series of events to the detriment of Bishop Shalita and his family after worshippers openly detested his decisions including put needles in Shalita’s cathedral chair before a church service, forcing him to appeal for Government help
Who is Bishop Cranmer Mugisha?
Bishop Cranmer, said to be 63 years was born in Rwaramba Parish, Nyakinama Sub County, Kisoro district.
Best known for working behind the scenes and often preferring solitude and personal time, Bishop Cranmer often avoided the media lens but still managed to make it into the headlines because of his thought provoking sermons.
He has also been described as a man with an independent thought process and not often influenced by public pressure.