When a person who has lived distinguished and honorable life goes to meet the Lord after along life of dedicated and faithful service, we don’t mourn him. We celebrate his life and as such, we should celebrate the legacy of archbishop Nkoyoyo. Most important we should emulate his legacy. He lived a life of true selfless service to humanity. The present day Uganda Christian University was his idea and I understand he worked hard to see it materialize.
With minimal education, Archbishop Nkoyoyo greatly contributed to a university that has produced great minds and transformed the lives of many. He strongly preached the word of God not only in word but also in deed as evidenced by several orphanages he started and other acts of kindness.
At such a critical moment in our country where the moral chords of society have broken, where greed, selfishness, opportunism and not service to God and his people motivate the actions of leaders, we need people who stand on a high moral ground to challenge the status quo, the rot that has engulfed our country.
Religious leaders that have turned the work of God into a business for personal gain and exploited his people, the legacy of archbishop Nkoyoyo remind you to repent and emulate Jesus. God warns to destroy you in Micah 3:7. Salvation is not for sale. Jesus died freely for us and for no price and while on earth, he healed the sick, rised the dead, fed the hungry for no pay. He did not also brag or show off for his miracles let alone advertising them on TV. Instead he lived a humble life.
At the political scene, we need morally upright leaders to challenge the status quo and introduce morality in the public square. As the political trajectory gets even more risky and uncertain for our future, our children and grandchildren, religious and other leaders have a critical role to play in challenging the prevailing corruption, injustice and bad governance. In doing this, emulate the courage that was exhibited by Archbishop Janani Luwum who, like Jesus, challenged the negative forces of the time and died for the truth. I commend all religious leaders of various religious denominations who firmly spoke the truth and challenged powerful forces when our constitution was being manipulated.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who confronted extreme oppression during the apartheid regime in South Africa, warns us on silence in circumstances of injustice: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice”, he said, “you have chosen the side of the oppressor”.
And for those who occupy higher positions of leadership in the public service, you are reminded by the legacy of Nkoyoyo to serve with integrity and this requires courage.
For our 67 members of parliament who stood for the truth to vote “no” during the manipulation of the constitution, former US president J.F Kennedy reminds you of what political courage entails in parliamentary work in his 1957 book where he profiled 8 senators who took unpopular yet good positions despite the political risk: It involves “the desire to maintain a reputation for integrity that is stronger than the desire to maintain office’’.
May the good Lord rest the soul of archbishop Nkoyoyo in peace and may He help us to raise leaders of compassion, love, peace, truth and justice.
Birungi Denis is a lawyer, social, economic and political commentator,email@example.com