Rukungiri District fell short in the Bishop’s Annual Fund Collection 2023, raising 332 million shillings, a significant difference from the 412 million collected in 2022. The Bishop Annual Appeal Fund is an annual initiative aimed at raising funds to support the Diocesan Project.
The appeal was initiated in 2008 after a study tour in Kampala Archdiocese, where a similar effort, SAAF (Ssabasumba Annual Appeal Fund), was already in place. Kabale diocese joined the fundraising efforts in 2009. In 2022, Rukungiri district outperformed Kabale in BAAF collection, securing funds for the construction of a commercial building in Rukungiri intended to be rented by Centenary Bank.
However, a recent study by our reporter FM revealed that Rukungiri’s performance in 2023 was subpar. Some individuals, preferring anonymity, attributed this to political influence and the failure of the selected chief guest to leverage his influence in mobilizing support, as seen in other districts.
In contrast, Rukiga district, with Chief Guest Dr. Sylvia Alinaitwe, contributed money worth 107 million and mobilized more than 10 members of parliament who each contributed 3 million shillings. The area members of Parliament contributed more than 10 million each, and 270 million shillings were totally raised from the event.
Kisoro district led the BAAF collection in 2023, raising 430 million shillings with Chief Guest H.E Augustine Caesar Mulenga contributing 50 million shillings in cash and pledging 245 million shillings.
Kabale district, with Chief Guest Rt. Hon Thomas Tayebwa represented by the state minister for finance planning, raised 201 million in cash and pledges. Hon Musasizi also delivered Tayebwa’s contribution of 20 million and 20 million for him. Other area members of parliament also contributed to the event where Hon. Catheline Ndamira contributed 6 million, Hon Kamara Nicholas 4 million, Hon Niwagaba 15 million.
Kanungu district successfully raised 300 million shillings on November 5, 2023, with Chief Guest Hon Dr. Chris Baryomunsi contributing 63 million shillings and pledging full support. The coordinator for BAAF Makiro Deanery, Hon. Jacqueline Kyatuheire, who is also the National Vice Treasurer of the NRM party, thanked the Bishop for thinking about starting St. Ignatius University, a project that will change people’s lives. She delivered 15 million shillings from the NRM secretariat and another 15 million from family and friends.
During the event held in Rukungiri district on October 28, 2023, a total of 332 million shillings was raised. The Chief Guest, Hon. Maj. Gen Jim Muhwezi, who serves as the security minister and Rujumbura county legislator, contributed 10 million shillings in cash and presented an additional 10 million shillings from his associates. Other contributions came from Members of Parliament in the area, with Hon. Natukunda Medius Kaharata, the Woman MP for Rukungiri district, contributing 1 million shillings. Similarly, Hon. Namanya Naboth of Rubabo county, Hon. Elisa Rutahigwa of Rukungiri Municipality, and former MPs Hon. Mary Paula and Hon. Betty Muzanira each contributed 1 million shillings as well.
Rubanda district, with Chief Guest the Rubanda East MP and Minister of Finance Planning, raised 178.9 million shillings on September 10, 2023, where he personally contributed 20 million, joined by area members of Parliament who also contributed above 5 million each.
Bishop Callist Rubaramira of Kabale diocese set a target of 3 billion needed to establish St. Ignatius University at Rushoroza Hill, Kabale district. As of now, only Kisoro district has promised to meet its target of 450 million shillings.
The grand event, scheduled for November 25, 2023, is expected to conclude the fundraising campaign, with the President of Uganda, HE. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, as the Chief Guest.
Mr. Wenceslaus Maanige, the chairman of BAAF Rukungiri district, emphasized that an additional 118 million needs to be raised to meet the set goal of 450 million. He appealed for increased support, aiming to achieve the target by November 25, 2023.