By:  Ismael Kasooha


President Yoweri Museveni has mourned the death of Bishop Emeritus Edward Albert Baharagate and said that the country had lost a great religious leader who used his position as Bishop  to promote peace, unity and development in society.

The President’s message was delivered by the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja at the burial of the Late Bishop Emeritus Albert Baharagate at Our Lady of Lourdes cathedral Bujumbura in Hoima City.

In his message, the president said that Bishop Baharagate had been a nationalist for his humility and love for God and the people.

“The deep sense of grief and loss which has engulfed the Country following the announcement of his death demonstrates that Bishop Baharagate’s ministry touched many lives. He was a dependable leader and wise counsellor,” said Museveni.

The Prime Minister Nabbanja Robinah (with mask) arriving for the burial of Bishop Edward Baharagate where she represented the Head of State in Hoima

The president on behalf of the NRM Government and his own behalf, extended condolences to the Catholic Church, the family of the late Bishop and all the people of Bunyoro sub region upon the loss of a beloved Shepherd.

“The Country has lost a great religious leader who used his position as Bishop and influence in society to promote peace, unity and development. He will be remembered for his humility and love for God and people,” the message read in part.

The president challenged mourners to emulate the good deed of Bishop Baharagate.

“The most befitting honor that you can render to the memory of the Late Bishop Edward Baharagte, is to emulate his wonderful example of faithful service to God and Country,” he said.

He further described Bishop Baharagate as person who had been a Nationalist and remained active at Nankulabye Catholic Parish, Kampala Archdiocese and beyond even after retirement as Bishop of Hoima Catholic Diocese.

“In this hour of grief, you must take consolation in the fact that Bishop Baharagate lived a life of purpose and meaning. The Late Bishop has departed from us after distinguished service to God and his Country, Uganda. All those who associated with him must be proud of his legacy and the sense of bereavement which you feel now,” said the president.

The President thanked the people of Bunyoro for their unwavering support to the NRM government since the 1980s and asked them to embrace government programmes.

“I thank you for the unwavering support Bunyoro sub region has given to the NRM government since the NRA struggle to liberate this country till now,” he said.

He added that the NRM Government was credited for security, total peace and had highly scored in terms of social services such as roads, electricity, Health, Education, clean water etc. but decried that some of our people were not yet in the money economy as they were, working only for the stomach (Kukolera kidakyonka- Lugwere, Kukolera enda yonka- Runyoro).

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Nabbanja Robinah laying a wreath at the casket of Bishop Edward Baharagate at Bujumbura Cathedral in Hoima Diocese where she represented the President at the Burial

“This, therefore, is to request you fellow mourners to support the government’s effort towards social economic transformation through compulsory free Education for all our school going children, wealth creation programs such as PDM, Emyooga,” said the President.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda Luigi Bianco, said that Pope Francis had sent condolences to the people of Hoima Catholic Diocese upon the death of Bishop Baharagate.

“Pope Francis has sent condolences to you upon the death of our Bishop and asked you to keep firm in faith,” said Luigi.

The Chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference Rt. Rev. Joseph Antony Zziwa, the Bishop of Kiyinda Mityana Diocese conveyed condolences to Bishop Vincent Kirabo and the Hoima Catholic Diocese.

“We convey to you our sincere condolences to the people of Hoima Catholic Diocese. The death of Bishop Emeritus Edward Baharagate marks an end of the era of the Bishops who were ordained by Pope Paul VI, now a saint when he visited Uganda in 1969. Bishop Baharagate is known for his simplicity, humility, time management and inspired the youth to love God,” said Zziwa.

The Prime Minister of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Andrew Byakutaga said that Bishop Baharagate was a strong supporter of Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom and culture.

At exactly 2pm the body of Bishop Baharagate was lowered at the cathedral where they buried the late Bishop Deogratius Muganwa Byabazaire.

The Late Bishop Edward Baharagate was born on February 25, 1930 at Nyamigisa in Masindi district, and was ordained priest on Dec, 7, 1958 and was later consecrated as Bishop of Hoima Catholic diocese August 1st 1969 by Pope Paul VI at Kololo.

He resigned as Bishop of Hoima Catholic Diocese in 1991 and started living with the Christians of Nakulabye for the last 25 years.

The Archbishop of Mbarara Archdiocese Rt. Rev Lambert Bainomugisha was the main celebrant.

The president contributed sh20m towards burial expenses.