Deputy Speaker Urges Church Leaders to Combat Poverty Through MEPA Structures

The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, called upon prelates within the Mbarara Ecclesiastical Province Association (MEPA) to leverage church structures in the fight against poverty. Speaking at the MEPA annual Pilgrimage at Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, Tayebwa emphasized the church’s authority and potential to impact development.

Addressing the congregation on Sunday, Tayebwa, who served as the chief pilgrim, highlighted the parallels between the authority of the government and the church, stating, “There is a thin line between the authority of government and authority of the church that even laws of God are the same as the laws of government.”

Tayebwa urged bishops to use the administrative structures of the church to teach people how to work, emphasizing the need for programs aimed at eliminating poverty. He encouraged the utilization of diocesan land to sustain communities and reduce dependence on offerings.

MEPA, comprising dioceses of Kabale, Mbarara, Fort Portal, Hoima, and Kasese, gathered for this year’s pilgrimage under the leadership of Archbishop Lambert Bainomugisha of Mbarara. The Deputy Speaker used the occasion to advocate for unity, inclusiveness, and courage in the fight against corruption.

Tayebwa called on Catholic bishops to guide political leaders, emphasizing the impact political decisions have on societal development. He urged them to provide counsel and prayer, stating, “Keep advising us as you pray and watch over us the same way you watch over your priests.”

Reflecting on the pilgrimage’s theme, ‘Growing together in faith inspired by Uganda Martyrs,’ Archbishop Bainomugisha urged the congregation to renew their faith and embrace courage in the face of challenges, drawing inspiration from the martyrs.

MEPA Chairperson, Patrick Birungi, who also serves as the Executive Director of Uganda Development Corporation, reiterated Tayebwa’s call. He announced plans to establish the Forum for Chief Executive Officers from MEPA as a platform for interaction, coordination, and building partnerships in both development and spiritual growth.



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