PHOTO: Swearing in of Justice Chibita in State House
NEWS EDITOR MEDIA
AN urgent meeting has been called over the appointment of Justices Mike J. Chibita and Catherine Bamugemereire to head the National Fellowhip of Born Again Pentectoal Churches (NFBPC) Tribunal after top pastors contested their appointment saying it is null and void.
They want the two thrown out and demand that Bishop Joshua Lwere follows the Fellowship constitution in making decisions on who should sit on the Tribunal.
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Speaking to our reporter, Bishop Leonald Sserwadda, leader of Southern Buganda Pentecostal Churches, Masaka who is one of the contestants for General Overseer (GO) in next month’s election, said however much the incumbent GO Joshua Lwere is mandated to appoint the Tribunal, he must be guided by the laws governing NFBPC or else, his appointments are null and void.
“It’s true NFBPC constitution empowers the General Overseer (GO) to appoint members sitting on the Tribunal being one of the organs mentioned in our constitution. But appointment of members who constitute this Tribunal must srictly follow the law.” Bishop Sserwadda told News Editor Media.
Asked whether the recent appointment of the Trubunal by Bishop Joshua Lwere headed by Justices Mike Chibita and Catherine Bamugemereire followed the law, Sserwadda said, many have raised eyebrows over Lwere’s Tribunal saying that is why, urgent internal meetings have been called to this effect.
He told us, “We want him (Lwere) to explain to us how he appointed this Trubunal. If he fails to convince us, mistakes must be corrected immediately as per our constitution.”
According to the NFBPC Constitution, Tribunal must have a quorum, those appointed by the General Overseer must be registered members of the Fellowship and vetting done by AGM and elders.
After GO making appointments, he brings the names to the forum and members make deliberations about them whether they are known registered members.
About the appointment of Justices Chibita and Bamugemereire, Bishop Serwadda says the appointment would be okay if the two are members of National Fellowship of Born Again Pentecostal Churches.
“Being judges doesnt in any way stop them from heading NFBPC Tribunal provided they are registered members of the Fellowship. But if they are not members, definately their appointment is null and void. One who isn’t part of us can not start making decisions about us. That is impossible and unacceptable.” Said Bishop Sserwadda.
Without mincing words, he revealed to us that this isn’t a personal Tribunal, but a Tribunal for the Fellowship so any appointment must be carefully vetted and appoved by the General Assembly. There is no way it will be accepted without clearance from those mandated by the constitution.
Asked whether they will throw out justices Chibita and Bamugemereire after the meeting, Bishop Sserwadda responded by quoting Titus 1:5 in the Bible when Paul was telling Titus that, ‘The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.’
“This is what we are going to do, putting in order what might have been done wrongly by GO Bishop Lwere.”Sserwadda assured us as they head for the meeting.
For starters, Justice Michael Chibita who was appointed by Joshua Lwere, is a Ugandan lawyer and judge, who serves on the Supreme Court of Uganda, effective December 2019.
From 15 August 2013 until 6 December 2019, he served as the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in Uganda.
Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, is a Ugandan lawyer and judge who, since 2015, has served as a Justice of the Court of Appeal of Uganda, which doubles as Uganda’s Constitutional Court.
Justice Catherine Bamugemereire headed the tribunal which heard the petition filed by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) councilors against Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. Her tribunal established a prima facie case against Lukwago and the councilors followed through by voting impeaching him which was successfully contested in courts of law.
A bout 3 years ago, President Museveni appointed Justice Bamugemereire to head The Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters. Her report is yet to be fully considered.
The appointment of the two justices and other Tribunal members by Joshua Lwere to act as judiciary sitting to hear especially electoral discripancies that may arise after GO elections, makes some top pastors think Lwere who never wanted to leave office, might be up to something fishy!
“We are almost getting done with the elections which started about three months ago. And everything was moving on smoothly. We are only remaining with National elections. What has he all along been waiting for, to appoint a Tribunal? Why now when he is remaining with less than two months to handle over leadership? And why appoint people who are not part of us without quorum? It is sad that Bishop Lwere ursuped powers of the Constitution and put a parallel organ.” Said one of the leading Pentecostal church Pastors in the Country.
This Trinunal had to be appointed and approved by elders during the General meeting. But the extra General meeting, we are reliably informed, failed to get quorum.
What next? Watch the space, our ears are on the ground!
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