The managing director of Diamond Trust Bank Uganda, Varghese Thambi, has urged accountants and the Christians at large to emulate St Anthanasius Bazzekuketta’s integrity and transparency in dealing with finances.
Thambi made the remarks during the opening mass novena at Uganda Martyrs Namugongo Catholic Shrine on Thursday in which the faithful remembered St Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe and St.Anthanasius Bazekuketta patron saint of bankers and accountants.
Thambi, who was the chief pilgrim, talked to the Catholic banking and accounting professionals about their patron Saint, St. Athanasius Bazzekuketta, saying he was the symbol of ethics, integrity and transparency, the key requirements for anyone dealing with finances.
“St Anthanasius is the patron saint of those in charge of finance, treasury and St Anthanasius Bazzekuketta, faithful steward of the royal treasury and banks. Accountants are responsible for proper accounting and transparency, balance sheets and profit and loss statements should reflect the true picture of the company,” he said.
Thambi explained that there are serious issues on tax compliance in the country today and only accountants with integrity can bring up the actual tax payable and to be compliant.
“When we open the newspapers or social media, we can only see the lack of integrity, ethics and transparency. Many banks and other financial institutions used to advertise the picture of the employees who were terminated on integrity or fraudulent issues. Unfortunately, many times in the list of such fraudsters we also see some names of Christians and even Catholics. It is a shame to all of us,” he noted.
He said this is the right time to pray through the intercession of St. Anthanasius Bazekuketta on the issue related to accounting, finances, cooperatives and banks to keep the highest level of integrity, fidelity, transparency and accountability.
He urged the accountants to keep in mind that the Chief Auditor General, their redeemer “Jesus Christ” is watching their actions and Inactions.
Msgr Gerald Kalumba, the priest of the Christ the King Parish who led the mass, urged the faithful to always be just and try to do the right things, adding that in Uganda today a lot of courage is needed to do the right thing.
“Since we have been celebrating the first day of novena of the Uganda Martyrs and today we have been given the patrons of the politician and the patron of finances that is Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe and Anthanasius Bazekuketta.We pray that we be courageous like they were in their duties and be just in our work,” he said.
Who was St Anthanasius Bazekuketta?
Bazekuketta was a Muganda, belonging to the Nkima clan from Mulajje, Bulemeezi County.
Bazzekuketta Kizza went to the Palace of King Mwanga II and became a page under the leadership of Charles Lwanga who soon initiated the boy into Catholicism. He was orderly, caring for the King’s ceremonial robes and at the same time in charge of the King’s treasury. Bazzekuketta was baptized on November 16 1885 and given the name Anthanasius.
He was arrested on May 26, 1886. He was very happy and eager to die for Christ. The next morning, on May 27, on the way to Namugongo, Bazekuketta was speared to death at Nakivubo where Joseph Balikuddembe had been killed. In 1920; Pope Benedict XV beatified him as Blessed Anthanasius Bazekuketta in Rome.
Later, canonisation as St. Anthanasius Bazekuketta was on October 18, 1964, by Pope Paul VI
St Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe
St.Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe, Patron Saint of justice and peace and civil servants was King’s Majordomo and a dynamic leader. He was born at Lusinga, Mitala Maria Parish in 1860. Balikuddembe was the first Catholic martyr, who was beheaded and his body burnt on Sunday, November 15, 1885, at the age of twenty six. In 1920, Pope Benedict XV beatified as Blessed Joseph Mukasa Balikuddembe in Rome.
He served the two kings, Muteesa I and Mwanga until due to the jealousies and malice of Kintu the prime Minister; he was handed over to him by Mwanga to be killed.