President Yoweri Museveni has praised the late Kampala Archbishop Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga as a distinguished national leader who deserved a befitting national send-off.
The president was speaking during a state funeral and mass for the Archbishop who succumbed to Ischemic heart disease .
Lwanga was found dead in his room on Saturday morning.
Speaking to a congregation comprising ministers, government officials, and clergy at Kololo Airstrip on Tuesday, Museveni said he ordered for the state mourning of Archbishop Lwanga because of his great importance to the nation.
“I ordered this official mourning for our brother the late Lwanga because he has been an Archbishop yet we do not have many of those. They are only four for the catholic church; North (Archbishop John Baptist Odama, East (Emmanuel Obbo), West (Lambert Bainomugisha) and Kampala where Lwanga has been,” Museveni said.
“There are many members who fall in those archbishop structures, as part of building your national culture it is not only to honour the political and traditional leaders, of course not all church leaders are national leaders but an archbishop is one,” he added.
The president also hailed the deceased for his contribution to the 1986 National Resistance Army as a sympathizer together with his predecessor, Cardinal Emmanuel Kiwanuka Nsubuga.
“(Cyprian) Lwanga was part of our Bayekera sympathisers. We were in bush fighting but we had sympathisers who did not shoot guns but they prayed for us. They were with cardinal Nsubuga, Bishop Yokana Mukasa and Muslim leaders like Badru Kakungulu. They were part of our sympathisers,”he said.
“In particular Cardinal Nsubuga had two points which we utilised without his official consent including a ranch in Kyankwanzi where we would get medicines from, and another big banana plantation in kiboga. Our guerrillas would go there and get food. Its supply was endless. I never knew exactly where it was and have never gone there or paid compensation, but our guerrillas would come with food and say, we got this from Cardinal’s plantation,” he added.
Champion of wealth creation message
The president said that while in touch with cardinal Nsubuga, he met a young Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, then a priest, but he would soon find appreciation in Lwanga’s interest with operation wealth creation.
“When I came from the bush, Cardinal Nsubuga invited me to Kyankwanzi and Kizito Lwanga was there as a young priest. One of the things I appreciated about him was his microfinance project called Twekembe which he started with his salary. It is now a big microfinance involving many people. I was so happy with him,” Museveni said.
The president said that Archbishop Lwanga’s actions were enlightening to many Christians who had misunderstood the scriptures in the Bible, especially in relation to creating wealth.
“Christians had read the bible wrongly where it said, look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor harvest but the son of man feeds them. This verse is even worse in Runyankore. We are not the birds in the air, we must look at the parable of talents,” he said.
The president added that now, a number of religious leaders have woken up to follow in the footsteps of Archbishop Lwanga in mobilising their communities towards wealth creation.