Members of the Makerere University University Community from all denominations responded to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe’s call and together, made a resounding contribution of approximately UGX 80 Million in favour of the Church House Fundraising Campaign dubbed “Yes, We Can!”.
The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, His Grace The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu who launched the Fundraising Campaign on 6th June 2021 visited Makerere University on 20th December 2021 to officially receive Mak’s contribution from the Vice Chancellor. The Archbishop was accompanied by the Provincial Secretary, Rev. Canon Captain William Ongeng.
Welcoming the Archbishop on his first official visit to Makerere, the Vice Chancellor thanked His Grace for standing with the University through good and bad times, by ministering twice at St. Francis Chapel and visiting the Main Building site following fire of 20th September 2020 respectively.
“I want to thank you for that great show of solidarity and being the first major religious leader to visit us as far as the tragedy of the burning of the Main Building is concerned. We do not take that for granted, it shows that we are in your prayers” echoed the Vice Chancellor.
Prof. Nawangwe informed that Archbishop that Makerere launched celebrations to mark 100 years of impacting society on 25th November 2021 and extended an invitation to him to the climax of the celebrations in October 2022. Turning to the purpose of the visit, the Vice Chancellor said:
“You appointed me coordinator of efforts to mobilise the UGX 200 Million quota from all academic institutions towards the Love Gift for the emancipation of the Church House. I have contacted most of the Vice Chancellors and they are supportive” remarked Prof. Nawangwe.
The Vice Chancellor informed the Archbishop that the leaders had agreed to each bring their institutional contribution on a separate occasion, hence the day’s meeting.
Today, Makerere University is very privileged to receive you because although we had requested to come to your Office, you graciously asked to come to the Campus in person and we want to very sincerely thank you for that” remarked the Vice Chancellor to thunderous applause from the audience.
Present during the meeting with the Archbishop were some of the coordinators appointed by the Vice Chancellor to reach out to the Makerere University Community on his behalf. They included; Rev. Can. Onesimus Asiimwe-Chaplain St. Francis Chapel, Dr. Chrisitine Mbabazi Mpyangu-College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Dr. Paul Birevu Muyinda-College of Education and External Studies (CEES), Dr. Sylvia Nannyonga Tamusuza-CHUSS, Dr. Robinah Kulabako-College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT), Dr. Helen Byamugisha-University Librarian, Prof. Florence Mutonyi D’Ujanga-College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) and Prof. Moses Joloba-College of Health Sciences (CHS).
The Vice Chancellor thanked the coordinators present for accepting the assignment, noting that this display of solidarity was clear evidence that the targets set by the Church House Fundraising Drive can be achieved.
“Let me begin by appreciating God, from whom all blessings flow and to thank Him for the gift of life He has given us, especially when oxygen has been acknowledged as a very precious gift from God.
“My friend the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, I want to appreciate you for accepting the call to be part of the mobilisers of the resources we need to clear our debt, but also, by God’s grace for appointing very capable co-mobilisers. Thank you very much” commenced the Archbishop as made his acceptance remarks.
He appreciated the Chaplain, Rev. Can. Asiimwe and staff present for the oneness exhibited not only during the Fundraising Campaign but also other in aspects such as teaching the students.
The Archbishop prayed that all the plans to restore the iconic Main Building would be successfully executed, owing to the nostalgia that it evoked from visitors to Makerere, especially during graduation ceremonies, as it towers over the Freedom Square.
“We thank God for saving lives, because lives could have perished in the fire” he added.
Reading from 1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building
1 CORINTHIANS 3:9, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God’s building.
1 CORINTHIANS 3:9, AMPLIFIED BIBLE, CLASSIC EDITION
The Archbishop reminded all present that we are co-workers in God’s service. “Can you imagine? Isn’t that great? Who am I to be a co-labourer with God and we are joint promoters… Isn’t this really a privilege?” pondered His Grace as his audience chorused “yes” in agreement.
Turning to Isaiah 6:8, the Archbishop further reminded his audience that God who sent them to do His work is the One who rewards.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
ISAIAH 6:8, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
“When you are sent to do an assignment, not everyone will be happy, especially the business of collecting resources… and so may God bless you so much for the good work you have done” remarked the Archbishop. “When you take time out to do God’s work, God also takes time to attend to your things as well, and that is my prayer for you, that God will attend to your many things” he added.
After the Provincial Secretary, Rev. Can. Captain Ongeng had moved a vote of thanks to the Vice Chancellor and Members of the Makerere University community, the Archbishop led his audience in the words of How Great Thou Art and thereafter, said the benediction.