Amidst what appears to be a stand off between the church and sections of political leaders , we sought audience with the retired archbishop of the church of Uganda Henry Luke Orombi to pick his mind on the role of the church in politics
As he spoke to Nile post’s Joseph Sabiti, he started his response to the question of the role of clergy in politics by telling a story of a day that he still vividly remembers.
“I was sitting in my Nakasero office one day and a lawyer walked into my office on appointment, she asked me, your grace when are you going to run for president? I asked why? and she answered because you have my vote and the vote of many Ugandans.”
“I said to her do you know Mathew 3:36? she said I don’t t know, I told her Mathew 3;36 says seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and the rest shall be added unto you.”
Orombi recalls how he asked the young lawyer about who would kneel down between him and the president if the head of state came for blessings.
“A church man and a church woman is actually a politician but the level of his politics and her politics is different, the level of our politics is more powerful than the ordinary politics of Uganda of NRM, FDC and all these other stuff why? because we stand above all these people and have the authority to bless them”
Orombi says the clergy should exercise their authority to listen to politicians and counsel them.
“In fact a church leader should have no fear of any politician, they should counsel them, go to them and pray for them, we have a bigger role,” Orombi says.
The retired clergy man insists if you bring church leaders down to the level of politicians then you cheapen their calling.
He implores clergy men to always remember that they are in a higher authority from the lord.
Quoting from the bible he says; “In the bible days, the priests and prophets were above the kings, the priest would anoint the king and the prophet would declare the word of the lord to the king and come and denounce the king.”
Orombi wonders why they as church men can’t speak the word of the lord to leaders today as he points out that the words spoken by church leaders is not their own but of the lord.
The retired leader of the Anglican church says the clergy should not forget that everything else except the word of the lord passes away.
According to Orombi, the president, ministers and other leaders are appointed by God and it is the duty of the clergy to show them how to lead according to the will of God.
On the state of affairs in the country’s politics, Orombi reasons that in every society, conflict is bound to exist as he points out to that it is not peculiar to Uganda.
“It is in the conflict that God begins to shape the thinking of his people,” he says.
“A certain person sat under a tree and saw a butterfly emerging from a pupa and really struggling he felt compassion for this fellow and he got his little knife and cut the pupa open and the butterfly came out but couldn’t fly, he wondered why ,he did it too early, it is in the struggle where it begins to gain strength and you don’t have to preempt that struggle.”
Orombi argues that much as the country is going through a lot of conflict, pain, difficulties, misunderstandings and pain but he remains optimistic that out of all this, a better nation will be born.
He equates the state of affairs to the labor ward experience; “The delivery of a baby doesn’t come from a laughing mother ,the mother is wailing and weeping in water and blood but the end result is a baby and she even forgets the pain.”
Orombi cautions against the spirit of revenge insisting vengeance belongs to the lord.
He rallies every one who will be celebrating Janan Luwum day to emulate the life of the clergyman who lived his life amidst conflict but stood for the truth and his blood watered the tree of democracy in the country.