Archbishop Emeritus Bakyenga passes on at 79.

By Anthony Kushaba

The Archbishop emeritus of Mbarara Archdiocese, Paul Kamuza Bakyenga, has passed on.

The former archbishop, according to close sources, passed away in the wee hours of today after battling ill health for some time.

Born on the 30th of June 1944 in Bumbaire Sub County in Bushenyi district, Bakyenga was ordained priest on July 11, 1971, and later appointed coadjutor Bishop of Mbarara on March 6, 1989, and later ordained Bishop on June 24, 1989.

Bakyenga was appointed on January 2, 1999, as the Archbishop of Mbarara and retired on April 25, 2020.

Archbishop Bakyenga was born in 1944 in Bumbaire, Igara, Bushenyi district. He was ordained a priest in 1971 at the age of 27 at Mushanga Parish in Bushenyi district and immediately posted as the Chaplain of Ntare School in Mbarara. He was later moved to Nyamitanga Parish as the Curate. He also served as rector at Kitabi Seminary and as pastoral coordinator at Nyamitanga Cathedral.

Archbishop Emeritus Bakyenga was appointed and consecrated Bishop of Mbarara in 1989, replacing Late Bishop John Baptist Kakubi in 1991, who at the time had resigned and was appointed Archbishop of Mbarara in 1999 when Mbarara Diocese was elevated to an archdiocese, subsequently making him the first Archbishop of Mbarara Archdiocese until he retired in 2020.

He attended pre-primary school in the church building at Bweeza, Bushenyi District. He went on to attend Ibaare Primary School before joining Ibanda Preparatory Seminary from 1958 until 1960.

In 1961, he joined Kitabi Seminary, where he graduated with a High School Diploma. He was admitted to Bukalasa Minor Seminary, in present-day Kalungu District, for his A-Level studies, but he did not complete them. He was expelled, along with others, for “indiscipline”.

After teaching briefly at Rushoroza Seminary, in Kabale District, he was then admitted to Katigondo Major Seminary, in Kalungu District, to study philosophy but abandoned the course after two years. At this point, Bishop John Baptist Kakubi of Mbarara sent him to study at St. Andrews College in Scotland, where he obtained a degree in Theology.

He was ordained a priest on July 11, 1971, at Mbarara, at the age of 27. He served as a priest in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mbarara until March 6, 1989.