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Death threats for Kampala bishop: The Church of England Newspaper, April 22, 2012, p 5. April 26, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of Uganda, Politics.
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President Yoweri Museveni

Calls for presidential term limits have led to death threats against a Ugandan bishop.

In a sermon delivered on Easter Sunday at St Stephen’s Church in Kisugu, the Assistant Bishop of Kampala, Dr. Zac Niringiye said he was stepping down from office to campaign for the restoration of presidential term limits in Uganda’s constitution.  In 2005 the Uganda’s constitution was altered, removing the two term limit, effectively allowing President Yoweri Muzeveni to remain in office.

Dr. Niringiye stated his life had been threatened after he began campaigning for regime change. “I hear security forces are plotting against me but this is part of God’s ministry. Many people are asking whether I am not afraid of what I am going into but I don’t fear death,” the bishop said.

“I am saying restore term limits,” the bishop said, according to local press reports.  “We are also saying Mzee finish well and retire well.”

Dr. Niringiye’s call was echoed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kampala, Dr. Cyprian Lwanga in an Easter Sunday sermon. “The biggest gift the President can give Ugandans is the smooth transfer of power when his term of office is over,” Dr Lwanga said at Rubaga Cathedral.

The president should begin the transition process now, Dr Lwanga said, allowing a peaceful handover of power.  The recent crackdown on opposition leaders did not bode well, the archbishop noted.  “How can [the police] mercilessly flog the very people who pay taxes that is then used to pay your salaries.”

Speaking to a 5 April 2012 press conference to deliver the Uganda Christian Council’s Easter message, Archbishop Henry Orombi was pressed to speak on the political situation in Uganda. Last month the government banned “Activists for Change” a pro-democracy group for sedition, threatening imprisonment for its members or for disseminating its literature.

Archbishop Orombi told reporters the confrontation between the government and the opposition was harming Uganda, and urged dialogue to resolve the disputes.  Asked if he supported Dr. Niringiye’s campaign, the archbishop declined to be drawn, saying “he doesn’t need permission from me.”

However, Archbishop Orombi added that “if a bishop’s conviction takes him that far” into political opposition to the government, “and I don’t want infringe upon his freedom if that is what God is wanting him to do.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

Church leaders divide over term limits for president of Nigeria: The Church of England Newspaper, Aug 12, 2011 p 6. August 15, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Nigeria.
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Archbishop Joseph Adetiloye

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

Church leaders in Nigeria have objected to plans to create term limits for the country’s president and state governors, saying allowing only a single six-year term would make the government less responsive to the needs and opinions of the electorate.

In an interview with the Leadership newspaper, the former Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Archbishop Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye urged President Goodluck Jonathan to drop plans to amend the country’s constitution.

Last month President Jonathan asked MPs to amend the constitution so that future presidents and governors serve a single, six-year term. Aides to the president said the proposal would allow the government to focus on governing the country, and would avoid the violence that surrounds the country’s presidential campaigns.

A statement from the President’s Office published by AFP said: “If the proposed amendment is accepted by the National Assembly, the president assures that he will not in any way be a beneficiary.

Archbishop Adetiloye stated there should be an incentive for political leaders to honour the party political platforms they adopted before elections. Politicians should “fear” the electorate, and have an incentive to govern according to the pledges they made when they ran for office, he said.

Being accountable to the electorate will force political parties to “pile pressure of such elected official to deliver.”

“We thank God now that we are having fairly credible election, so with a renewable tenure, all the political parties we realise that the only way they can dominate a state or the country is by performing well for them to win future elections,” Archbishop Adetiloye said last week.

However, the former Bishop of Akure, the Rt Rev Emmanuel Gbonigi told the Vanguard newspaper that he backed term limits as it would allow politicians to focus on governing rather than campaigning. When a governor is elected, he spends the first six months in office to “settle down,” governs for “another two and half years” and then begins to “strategise for a second term” during his last year in office.

“But if it is six-year single term, he would use one year to settle down and appoint political officers and the next five years to work knowing that there is no second term,” Bishop Gbonigi said.