The archbishop of Kampala archdiocese, Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has dismissed reports that he requested for Shs 9 billion from government to prepare for the second visit of Pope Francis in Uganda.
He said any statement linking him to such a request is defamatory. Pope Francis first visited Uganda in 2015. Last year and this year, there emerged reports that he could be returning to Uganda in June this year to take part in Martyrs Day celebrations.
Early this month, it was reported in local media that the Catholic Church had submitted a request for more than Shs 9 billion to renovate the Namugongo shrine in preparation for the visit. However, Lwanga says he cannot request money from the central government and the Catholic community in the country when the Pope's visit hasn't yet been confirmed.
Lwanga was speaking at Kigungu landing site on Sunday, during celebrations to mark 140 years since the first missionaries Amans Delamas and Loudel Simeone Mapeera introduced the Catholic faith in Uganda. The two missionaries are said to have come into the country on February 18, 1879.
The archbishop also decried the increasing crime rate in the country and wondered why people still failed to be their brother's keeper, even after the introduction of the faith in the country.
The celebrations of the two missionaries; Amans and Loudel have been ongoing for the past 40 years. However, Catholics in Kalangala insist that the two missionaries first docked in Bugoma, Kalangala on February 14, 1879, where they constructed their first Church before reaching Kigungu.
Archbishop Lwanga says that there has been a tremendous contribution of the Catholic Church in the education and health sectors in the country since the coming of missionaries.