The deteriorating plight of former Kitgum Bishop, Benjamin Ojwang

 

The Writer, Mr Emar Okanokodi

His health continues to deteriorate since he was transferred from Lacor hospital to Gulu Regional referral hospital three weeks ago, resulting from a stroke suffered last year.

Weak and unable to reorganize anybody, Benjamin Ojwang, the retired Anglican Bishop of Kitgum Diocese is a man in need at a trying moment.

The 67-year-old became the second Bishop of the diocese of Kitgum in 2002 replacing retired Bishop McLeod Ochola.

He however had a rocky time as Bishop, culminating into his forcefully removal from office in 2014 following a disagreement with some of the clergies in the diocese.

Ojwang retired to an unfinished house in Pader town council where he has been battling several on-and-off illnesses while waiting for his retirement package that has never been paid.

The story of Bishop Ojwang is one comparable to that of Job the humble servant.  Job, according to the Bible, was a rich man who lost all his wealth but instead of abandoning God as his many friends suggested, he praised Him knowing that one day he will gain back what he had lost.

Even in despire, Bishop Ojwang never gave up on God. He often attended church service whenever his mobility allowed. I remember in 2016 in Pajule at the commemoration to mark the 2002 Pajule massacre, Ojwang volunteered his personal resources, travelling 40kms to attend the ceremony while his colleagues in cloak were facilitated.

In 2017, we paid him a visit at his home in Pader and had a hearty chat about life while his wife offered us some groundnuts to eat.

Now bedridden, the chatty man of God lies helpless at Gulu referral hospital private ward number 1, unable to reorganize his visitors and unable to move his lips, a far cry from the chatty man that he was in days of good health.

His situation continues to decline amidst financial difficulties. The smile that once adorned the face of his wife—Margaret Ojwang has since vanished and been replaced by unhappiness.

There is no money to help take the former Bishop for treatment at a better facility. Prayers are being said, but what the man of God also needs is financial support from for better treatment.

Church of Uganda needs to honor their obligations by paying his retirement emolument.

Ojwang may have had his share of faults but how long can we as Christians be so unforgiving that we let a man of God suffer such pain?

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” Mathew 25:35-36

“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” Hebrew 13:6

For inquiries on the state of Bishop Ojwang and assistance, contact his wife, Margaret Ojwang on 0772 959924