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    Renowned Pastor Billy Graham dies at 99



    The Rev. Billy Graham, a North Carolina farmer’s son who preached to millions in stadium events he called crusades, becoming a pastor to presidents and the nation’s best-known Christian evangelist for more than 60 years, died on Wednesday at his home in Montreat, N.C. He was 99.

    His death was confirmed by Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

    Mr. Graham had dealt with a number of illnesses in his last years, including prostate cancer, hydrocephalus (a buildup of fluid in the brain) and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

    Mr. Graham spread his influence across the country and around the world through a combination of religious conviction, commanding stage presence and shrewd use of radio, television and advanced communication technologies.

    A central achievement was his encouraging evangelical Protestants to regain the social influence they had once wielded, reversing a retreat from public life that had begun when their efforts to challenge evolution theory were defeated in the Scopes trial in 1925.

    Mr. Graham took the role of evangelist to a new level, lifting it from the sawdust floors of canvas tents in small-town America to the podiums of packed stadiums in the world’s major cities. He wrote some 30 books and was among the first to use new communication technologies for religious purposes. During his “global crusade” from Puerto Rico in 1995, his sermons were translated simultaneously into 48 languages and transmitted to 185 countries by satellite.

    Mr. Graham’s standing as a religious leader was unusual: Unlike the pope or the Dalai Lama, he spoke for neither a particular church (though he was a Southern Baptist) nor a particular people.

    Graham (second left) kneels with other clergy before flying to Europe to represent the Youth for Christ Movement and spread the gospel

    At times, he seemed to fill the role of national clergyman. He read from Scripture at President Richard M. Nixon’s funeral in California in 1994, offered prayers at a service in the National Cathedral for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and, despite his failing health, traveled to New Orleans in 2006 to preach to survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

    His reach was global, and he was welcomed even by repressive leaders like Kim Il-sung of North Korea, who invited him to preach in Pyongyang’s officially sanctioned churches.

    In his younger days, Mr. Graham became a role model for aspiring evangelists, prompting countless young men to copy his cadences, his gestures and even the way he combed his wavy blond hair.

    He was not without critics. Early in his career, some mainline Protestant leaders and theologians accused him of preaching a simplistic message of personal salvation that ignored the complexities of societal problems like racism and poverty. Later, critics said he had shown political naïveté in maintaining a close public association with Nixon long after Nixon had been implicated in the cover-up of the Watergate break-in.

    Graham at his North Carolina home with his wife Ruth and children in 1955

    Mr. Graham’s image was tainted in 2002 with the release of audiotapes that Nixon had secretly recorded in the White House three decades earlier. The two men were heard agreeing that liberal Jews controlled the media and were responsible for pornography.

    “A lot of the Jews are great friends of mine,” Mr. Graham said at one point on the tapes. “They swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I’m friendly with Israel. But they don’t know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country.”

    Graham’s television, radio and internet presence allowed him to reach millions of people across the globe. He’s estimated to have preached in 185 countries around the world, thanks to the “Billy Graham Crusades.”


    Here are some of Graham’s most notable quotes:

    1. “My home is in Heaven. I’m just traveling through this world.”

    2. “There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. The wrong comes when riches possess men.”

    3. “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.”

    4. “Take one day at a time. Today, after all, is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”

    5. “Quit beating yourself up. We all live under grace and do the best we can.”

    6. “When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.”

    7. “Tears shed for self are tears of weakness, but tears shed for others are a sign of strength.”


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    Mufti Mubajje, Top Muslim Leadership In Panic: Court Orders Public Auctioning Of Old Kampala Mosque, William Street Mosque And Other Muslim Properties Worthy Billions Over Shs.19bn Deal…



    Old Kampala Mosques. Inset is Mufti Sheikh Shaban Mubajje

    Controversial Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Ramathan Shaban Mubajje and other Muslim leaders at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) are in tears after the Commercial Division of the High Court allowed the public auctioning of Muslim properties worthy in billions of shillings over Shs19bn debt.

    Catherine Agwero the Registrar of the Commercial Court has issued the warrant which was attached with the list of the properties set to be auctioned.

    According to Court documents seen by the mighty Grapevine, Tushabe Louis T|A Louiza Auctioneers have been authorized to execute the directive and report back to court with a detailed report on how the exercise was implemented.

    Among the properties listed to be auctioned include; Land in Leasehold Register Volume KCCA 149 Folio 16 land at Kampala City William Street which houses tabliq mosque.

    Others are Land are; Lease Register Volume 2771 Folio 2, Old Kampala Plot 23-25 which houses the national Muslim mosque and the Muslim headquarters; Kyadondo Block 195 plot 5463 Land at Kyanja Kampala City; one square miles of land at Bukwe Hoima district, one acre of land located at Lumbas, Jinja city; plot of land at Mbale city; shares in Uganda Rancheers Ltd & Commercial Holdings Ltd; Subsidiaries to Uganda Moslem Supreme Council that own 2 square miles land at Migyera-Buluri; plot of land at Entebbe Municipality opposite Victoria Mall.

    “The sales hereby ordered will not take place before 30 days from the date on which notice for such sale is advertised and approval of the valuation report by this court,” the order further reads.

    Mubajje and UMSC are supposed to pay businessman Justus Kyabahwa within 30 days from 16th of November 2023, a sum of Shs19,221,688,260, to save the Muslim properties.

    Highly placed sources at UMSC revealed to theGrapevine that the order resulted from a longtime legal battle between UMSC and the businessman over a land deal they entered.

    Sources said that Mubajje together with Sheikh Ramathan Mugalu the fired Secretary General of UMSC entered a Sh3.5bn deal to sell Muslim land located at Ntuusi Ssembabule district to the businessman.

    The businessman failed to secure the possession of the land because it was already sold to another city businessman, a one Muganga who is a relative of former foreign affairs minister Sam Kahamba Kutesa.

    Sources said that Mubajje agreed to refund the money to the businessman but he failed.

    He explained that the agreement Mugalu made was very dangerous to UMSC.

    In the agreement, UMSC was supposed to pay the businessman Shs480m each month until the completion of the payment.

    Tabliq leaders through their supreme leader in Uganda Sheikh Yunus Kamoga have been on Mubajje’s neck to allow them access their mosque at William Street which he closed in connivance with security claiming that the mosque was used to recruit terrorists.

    Mubajje closed the mosque and he is the one in control of all the shops surrounding the mosque which were built by Kamoga’s leadership to generate income to run Tabliq operations.

    This is not the first time Mubajje is accused of fraudulently selling Muslim properties. He was previously even charged in courts of law over the same.

    However, when contacted, Ashiraf Muvawala, the UMSC spokesperson said that he cannot comment on the matter because they are still preparing a press statement.

    Other sources said that Mubajje has instructed his lawyers to appeal against the ruling in a higher court.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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    INSIDE STORY: How Bishop Luwalira Was Dragged In Deadly Fight For Namirembe Diocese Top Job As Rev. Gakumba Committee Plots To Expose Those Who Want To Control Historical Diocese…



    The mighty Grapevine has exclusively learnt that the five member committee chaired by Retired Northern Uganda Bishop Emeritus Rev. Johnson Gakumba has concluded the writing of their final report which is going to be tabled to the House of Bishop for discussion to guide them on the next course of action concerning the process of electing the next Namirembe Diocese Bishop.

    Bishop Dr. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira is retiring next month and the Church needs a replacement.

    Highly placed sources at Namirembe Cathedral revealed to theGrapevine that any decision from the House of Bishops is likely to put the entire Church of Uganda on the spot because Namirembe Diocese is the foundation of the Church that is why their issue has to be handled carefully and it is the reason why the Archbishop Dr. Steven Kazimba Mugalu pleaded to the country to pray for him when he was in Mityana diocese.

    Dr. Kazimba disclosed that bad people are on his neck and he needs people’s prayers to survive the storm.

    Dr. Luwalira’s successor was supposed to be elected by the House of Bishops last month but the process was suspended by the House of Bishops chaired by Dr. Kazimba over allegation of mismanaging the process and fraud among the members of the vetting committee chaired by Makerere University law don Fred Mpanga, the Chancellor of Namirembe Diocese.

    The decision to appoint Rev. Gakumba committee to investigate the allegation was based on the affidavit sworn by two members of the vetting committee who revealed dirty deals that some members of the vetting committee were involved in during the process of selecting the three names of the clergymen forwarded to the House of Bishops while choosing Dr. Luwalira’s successor.

    In their affidavits, the petitioners claimed that Mpanga’s committee didn’t follow the Provincial Canon especially 3.7.24 which states that, “After evaluation of all the candidates proposed for consideration for nomination on the basis of the above named mentioned criteria, the Diocesan Nominees with the requisite qualification shall be forwarded to the House of Bishops by the Diocesan Chancellor, on behalf of the committee, for consideration for appointment as Bishop.”

    The petitioners also claimed that Mpanga violated Provincial Canon which states, “Before forwarding the names of the selected candidates to House of Bishops, through the Archbishop, the Diocesan Chancellor shall require and obtain from each of the candidates the following items.”

    The items include two passport size copies of recent photographs, Curriculum vitae with academic and professional documents, Certificate of Baptism, Certificate of Confirmation in the Christian faith, Marriage Certificate.

    The petitioners alleged that this was not done and the chairperson of the committee didn’t allow members to debate on the names of the 10 people who applied for the slot.

    They further alleged that when Mpanga summoned them for a retreat which they thought was going to discuss the matter in depth, he told them that they were supposed to leave their vehicles at Namirembe Cathedral and be transported in one mini-bus car to Kings College Budo where the meeting took place.

    The petitioners claimed that they discovered that the reason why they decided to transport them in a mini-bus was because they didn’t want them to discuss the process to nominate the best candidate.

    When they reached Kings College Budo, they were told that they have come to agree on only three names which they will send to the House of Bishops.

    They did not get a chance to scrutinize all the 10 candidates.

    The petitioners insisted that they tried to put up a spirited fight but Mpanga being a lawyer overpowered them and smuggled the name of Rev. Abraham Muyinda the Vicar of Namirembe Cathedral who even didn’t apply for the job to the final list.

    Sources said that this was done to facilitate their longtime calculation to control Namirembe Diocese.

    Source disclosed that the architects of the move wanted to favor Rev. Can. Moses Banja, the Archdeacon of Luzira whose name was also on the list because of his age.

    He is 59-years-old and the movers are very sure that within 6 years, he will be retiring and they will be electing another Bishop.

    However, insiders at Namirembe told theGrapevine that Rev. Gakumba’s committee is supposed to investigate allegations that Rev. Con. Banja has a strong relationship with Mpanga.

    It is alleged he is his personal lawyer and also a close friend to his wife Rev. Can. Prof Olivia Nassaka, the Ndejje University deputy chancellor.

    Sources added that the main aim of favouring Rev. Con. Banja in the race is to smoothen the road for the already prepared successor to him, Rev. Samuel Muwonge, the Namirembe Diocese Mission secretary who will fulfill their interests.

    Rev. Muwonge is a very connected man of God in Church of Uganda and Namirembe Dioceses because he married Rev. Con. Henry Ssegawa’s daughter who is also very influential in the church.

    Another name which was forwarded to the House of Bishops to be considered is that of Rev. Edward Stanley Kabanda.

    At the beginning of the process, Bishop Luwalira was very impartial until he was dragged in the fight to help the alleged mafias achieve their interests.

    Sources disclosed that the people who have been influencing the vetting process are targeting the Diocese’s multi billion properties which they want to control.

    Among them includes; Huge chunks of land, schools like Kings College Budo, Budo Junior School, Gayaza Junior School, Gayaza High School, Mengo Senior School and others.

    Sources said that they also want to control the political, economic and social opinions from Namirembe especially at this time when the country is vying for political transition from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s leadership to the new leadership.

    Sources said that for a longtime, the alleged mafias have been trying to compromise Bishop Luwalira but he has been standing his ground to protect the Diocese’s properties and public image.

    They at one time even resorted to using intimidation to scare him.

    They gave the example of a one Solomon Herbert Kaddu who attacked Dr. Luwalira during Easter prayers dressed in a backcloth. Kaddu was planted to intimidate Luwalira.

    Sources within Rev. Gakumba’s committee told theGrapevine that Mpanga is still in trouble because there are members on the committee who want him to be captured in their report for trying to hijack the proceedings.

    They claim that when they invited the witnesses who were members of his committee to testify, he also summoned them and met them at Namirembe and cautioned them not to obey Rev. Gakumba’s committee orders.

    He also wanted all members of his committee to appear at once before Gakumba’s committee, not one by one.

    A section of the committee members protested his prayers.

    Rev. Gakumba’s committee met all the summoned members one by one and a number of them according to source distanced themselves from the report sent to the House of Bishops.

    Rev. Gakumba’s committee will advises the House of Bishops on whether to capture Mpanga’s report or cancel the entire process of selecting Dr. Luwalira’s successor and announce a fresh process with a new committee or the same committee.

    theGrapevine tried to reach out to Adams Sadiiki the Church of Uganda spokesperson for a comment on when his boss Dr. Kazimba will summon the House of Bishops to discuss Rev. Gakumba’s report but his MTN phone number was not being picked.

    Last month, Anglicans at Namirembe Diocese led by former Buganda Kingdom security minister David Kiwalabye Male warned that they are not going to accept Bishops given to them by individuals.

    They vowed to only accept Bishops given to them by God through the process put in place by the Church of Uganda to elect the Bishops of Dioceses.


    By Sengooba Alirabaki


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    How Archbishop Dr. Kazimba Floored Luwero Diocese Angline In Court Over Rev. Can. Kasana’s Dismissal…



    Rev. Can. Godfrey Kasana (L) and Dr. Steven Kazimba Mugalu (R)

    Justice Dr. Flavian Zeija the Principle Judge has allowed a Preliminary Objection and dismissed the entire suit brought against the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda Dr. Steven Kazimba Mugalu over the dismissal of the elected Luwero Diocese Bishop Rev. Can. Godfrey Kasana.

    In his controversial ruling, Justice Zeija noted that Courts don’t have powers and cannot appoint Bishops of the Church.

    He explained that the appointing of Bishops is a spiritual matter which courts cannot decide.

    He added that the Anglican Church in Uganda has all the necessary bodies to resolve its disputes.

    “Without doubt, the canons provide for how a Bishop is appointed in the church. It also provides for how the disputes relating to election of Bishops are resolved.

    It is not the business of this Court to entertain disputes relating to consecration of Bishops. Courts cannot appoint Bishops for the Church,” Zeija stated.

    The soft spoken judge cited Article 29 of the Constitution which provides for freedom of worship. He however warned that it does not say that religious freedom to subscribe and unsubscribe to a certain faith must go by its tenets.

    The judge further rubbished the respondents’ prayer where they asked Court to force Dr. Kazimba to consecrate Kasana as the duly elected Bishop of Luwero Diocese.

    The respondents included: Joyce Mazzi, Ziggwa Mubiru, Godfrey Sabavuma, Paul Wasswa, Stephen Mutebi and Edith Kagima  Ssemakula.

    He explained that Kazimba does not have such powers because he is not the one who appoints him but it’s the House of Bishops.

    He directed all parties to bear their costs and advised them to promote reconciliation in church.

    Justice Zeija allocated himself the said file after Luwero resident judge Henrietta Walayo recused herself from the matter explaining that the environment surrounding her will not favour her to deliver justice.

    Dr. Kazimba appointed Rt. Rev. James Williams Ssebagala to temporarily take care of Luwero Diocese as the process to appoint a new Bishop kicks off.

    Rev. Can. Kasana is accused of fathering a child outside wedlock, a perceived violation of the Ten Commandments and Canon laws.

    Kasana’s election followed the retirement of Rt. Rev. Eridard Kironde Nsubuga, who had reached the mandatory retirement age of 65.


    By Grapevine Reporters


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