Paul Hannington Suubi was on October 4 announced as bishop for the newly created East Busoga Diocese. His announcement triggered excitement from the faithful throughout Busoga sub-region, with several saying Suubi’s appointment was deserving.
The 58-year-old professional teacher, currently heading Luwero-based Buzibwera Secondary School, will superintend over a diocese that takes Bugiri and Namayingo districts. “It was probably a surprise but not a shock. I submitted in my curriculum vitae on Friday and the next Wednesday I received the news of being elected as Bishop,” Rev. Suubi said.
Rev. Canon Suubi was appointed bishop by the Church of Uganda’s House of Bishops sitting at the provincial secretariat at Namirembe. The appointment makes him the pioneer bishop of the new diocese and he will be on November 19, 2023 at St. Stephen’s Pro Cathedral church in Bugiri district. “I was filled with joy when I received the news of the appointment but this is something I have worked for for a long time,” Suubi said.
Who is Suubi?
Born to the late Joseph Makanika and Mrs. Tapenensi Nakanda Makanika, the man of God grew up with his grandmother, late Norah Nangobi at Wabulungu, Magamaga in Mayuge district.
He has preached the gospel since 1990 when he was selected from St. Stephen’s church as a youth leader to pursue a bachelors degree in divinity from Taaka Theological school in Mukono. This was after attaining his diploma in education from Kakoba National Teacher’s College in 1989.
Married to a counterpart in profession, Dr. Margret Suubi, a lecturer at Busitema University, the couple is blessed with three children. Rev. Suubi attended Magamaga Primary School and Kakira Secondary School for his O’ level and A’ level education.
He says his major mandate in the new diocese is to preach the word of God and transform people’s spiritual lives. He currently serves as the Assistant Vicar at St. Andrew’s church of Uganda in Jinja city.
“If I have been committed to God since my childhood and this appointment means I have to be more committed. It means a total submission to the will of God, more hard work and faithfulness,” he stresses.
The task ahead
As Rev. Can. Suubi ascends to the throne, he will be charged with setting up a strong administration, appointing core diocesan officers, including the chief executive officer of the diocese, planning, finance, education, health and transformation board members to foster growth of the diocese.
The administration will, therefore, oversee the construction of administrative structures for proper execution of duties and rendering quality services. He believes his administrative experience with a certificate in public administration attained from Singapore will help him administer the new diocese and enable it to become a self-sustaining institution.
For a long time, Rev. Suubi has severed his God from schools, where he spent a decade at Busoga College Mwiri as a teacher and chaplain since 1993 when he was ordained a deacon. He was further ordained a priest in 1997. “It has been God’s grace all through. There were many people, even those who were better than me but the Lord chose me to serve his people in East Busoga,” Rev. Can. Suubi said.
The reverend emphasizes the significance of unity among believers as a core factor in development and urged christians to rally behind him to effectively administer the new diocese as the region transforms in faith.
According to Reverend Harriet Nabufu, the ordinand of St. Paul church of Uganda in Bugiri district, the now East Busoga Diocese was previously left behind in ministry as the area is very distant. She stresses that the House of Bishops simplified the proximity as christians in the area will easily access the Bishop for exclusive and public engagements.
“We shall have unity and a number of Reverends, and Christians will witness new revelations about the religion and underscore the hierarchy of the church of Uganda,” she said. Ivan Mbiri Makika, a resident of Busowa town council Bugiri district and a youth leader at St. Paul church of Uganda, believes the new diocese is not only going to grow in faith but will also foster development in the region.
He added that the diocese headquarters that have been at an Archdeaconary level will be elevated and standardized to a diocesan grade. Makika states that Christians will easily account for their financial contributions toward any common developmental obligations.
“It is really going to empower the young people through bible studies and the momentum of loving God among the youths will be boosted. A number of Reverends will be elevated to Archdeacon which is a notable transformation,” Makika said.