Archbishop Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, 68, found dead in his room

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The Archbishop of Kampala Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga delivering his 2018 Easter Message

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Archbishop of Kampala Catholic Archdiocese Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga is dead.

According to the Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference Monsignor John Baptist Kauta, Dr Lwanga was found dead on Saturday 3, April 2021 morning at his residence at Lubaga.

Lwanga became the Bishop of Kampala in 2006 after the retirement of Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala. Yesterday, Lwanga joined the Anglican Archbishop of Uganda, Dr Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu in the way of the cross that took place at Namirembe Cathedral. It was said that Lwanga had been sick for some days last week but by Friday he was in good health.

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L-R: Archbishop of Kampala Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Archbishop of the Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali and Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje. Courtesy Photo.

According to Father Phillip Odi, the spokesperson of the Episcopal Conference, it is suspected that he could have died of a heart attack after a hectic Friday 2, April 2021. 

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Lwanga was born on January 19, 1953, in Kyabakadde Kyampisi sub county Mukono district. He was ordained priest on April 9, 1978.

On November 30 1996 he was appointed the Bishop of Kasana Luwero, the position he held up to September 30, 2006, when he assumed the office of the Archbishop of Kampala.

Lwanga succeeded Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala in 2006 when the latter resigned after clocking the mandatory 75-years of age.  

He entered Nyenga seminary in 1964. Between 1972 and 1974, he studied at Katigondo National Major seminary before joining Ggaba National seminary for his theological studies. In 1978, he was ordained priest at the age of 25.   

The following year, he was admitted at the University of Clermont-Ferrand in France, where he studied administration and languages. Later, he went to the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, where, in 1994, he earned a doctorate in Canon Law.

Catholics throng Rubaga Cathedral following death of Archbishop Lwanga

Meanwhile, hundreds of faithfuls from different areas of Kampala have flocked Rubaga Cathedral, the seat of Kampala Archdiocese at the sound of prolonged church bells on Saturday 3, April 2021 announcing the sudden death of the Archbishop, Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.

News of his death started as a rumour on social media but was later confirmed by Rev. Fr. Pius Male, the chancellor of Kampala Archdiocese. Thereafter bells started ringing as one of the ways of communicating the sad news to the faithfuls. A relatively young boy, selling sacramental items at the church, didn’t know the meaning of the bells and looked confused why the bells were ringing yet the church was closed. 

However, elderly men and women doing the same job started wailing and crying while another started reciting the prayer for the faithful departed. Joseph Wasswa, one of those responsible for ringing bells at the cathedral, explains that they ring the bell differently to communicate a specific message to the faithfuls.    

He says that normally, bells inviting faithfuls for mass or prayer are rung for a short time with several interludes in between them. He adds that those that are announcing bad news are continuous and ring for a long period. For instance, while announcing the death of the Archbishop, the bell rang from 1:23 pm to 2:30 pm.        

Edward Ssentongo, an elderly resident at Butikiro road was among the many that came by leaps and bounds after hearing the bells. He says that he knew that these were not the usual bells and rushed to the cathedral to find out what had happened.   

Several people including clerics dashed to the Cathedral both on foot, boda boda, and private vehicles shedding tears and gathered in the church compound as the bells continued ringing.

John Muwembe Kalanda, one of the contractors at the Archdiocese and personal friend to the deceased Archbishop, says that he was notified by his son who is in Mauritius about Lwanga’s passing and called his sister to confirm the news.

Josephine Nagadya, a volunteer at the church, says that there was suspicious movement of priests around the cathedral from around 10:00 am. At first, she thought that they were arranging for the Easter mass only to learn that the Archbishop had passed on.