Religious leaders on Monday commended outgoing Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Luke Orombi, for fostering unity among all religious faiths in the country.
Orombi, who announced his retirement early this year, was hosted by religious leaders under their umbrella organisation, Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) at the headquarters in Namirembe, in which he is a board member to bid farewell.
In July, the House of Bishops elected Masindi Kitara bishop, Stanly Ntagali to take over from Orombi in December this year.
Addressing the congregation, religious leaders hailed Orombi for what they called unity both in the church and with other religious institutions.
IRCU chairman Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga said during Archbishop Orombi's reign, the Church of Uganda has peacefully co-existed with other religions especially the Catholic Church.
Although an Orthodox, Lwanga said, "I liked Orombi's preaching as he hinted on bringing people together all the time."
He added that in addition to initiating development projects, Orombi has been a uniting factor. He said the archbishop has throughout his term of office intervened in church disputes to ensure there is unity.
The leader of Born Again Faith in Uganda Dr. Joseph Serwadda said given the history of mistrust suspicion, conflicts and division within the religious fraternity in Uganda, to see all faiths working together for a common good is indeed a miracle.
"It has been you working closely with your colleagues of other faiths, that ensured that this happens in our life time. Thank you," Serwadda thanked Orombi.
Archbishop of Kampala archdiocese, Cyprian Lwanga said, "Departing is such sweet sorrow. Sweet because like Paul, you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, and you have remained faithful."
He added that Orombi has shown a good example that leaders need not be pushed out of office, but should handover power willingly.
On why he is retiring earlier than his time, the very charismatic Orombi said: "When an assignment is finished, move on and don't waste your time and other people's time. I have another burden and have to move on."
Who is Orombi?
Henry Luke Orombi, born October 11, 1949, has served as archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda since 2004. He was due to retire in 2014, but announced his intention to leave his post earlier than expected, in December last year. Therefore in July, the House of Bishops elected Masindi Kitara bishop, Stanley Ntagali, to take over from him.