By our reporter
Born on December 8, 1958 in Kiwenda, Wakiso District, Rt Rev. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira is the 14th of the 15 children of the late Eriazali Kityo Wanzu and Gertrude Faith Nantume. Most of his siblings never lived to study beyond primary education although he was lucky to complete O’level at Kololo Senior Secondary School thanks to the hard work of his mother who sold local juice she brewed.
His service in the church dates back when he was appointed a youth leader at Bubajjwe Church of Uganda in Kawempe during his long Senior Four holiday. But this service didn’t last long as Luwalira was forced to head back to Kiwenda in search of a job to make ends meet.
His vision to become a veterinary doctor was cut short by God’s calling. In 1981, there was an opportunity for young people to train as lay readers at Namugongo Martyrs Seminary which he took on and upon completion; he was posted back to Namulonge the following year.
Another opportunity struck when he was sent back to the Seminary to be trained and ordained as Deacon in 1984. During this training, the seminary was attacked by soldiers who killed the principal, farm manager and, other staff. The trainees took a short break, returned, and in December 1986, Luwalira was ordained a deacon.
He was then posted to Kabowa Parish where he spent a year and was moved back to the Diocesan Youth office to serve as the Youth Secretary with a huge territory to serve since, at the time, Luwero was part of Namirembe diocese.
He pursued a Diploma in Theology at Ugandan Christian University Mukono then Bishop Tucker Theological College and a Bachelor’s degree in Divinity. He was appointed to serve as the vicar at Namirembe Cathedral from 2001 until he was elected bishop on February 21, 2009, and consecrated and enthroned on May 31, 2009.
Luwalira is married to Faith Nakitende whom he met through family connections in 1988 while she was a teacher at Gayaza High School. On September 2, 1989, Faith and Wilberforce married at St Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe at 11am. The late Bishop Misaeri Kawuma officiated.
Luwalira says Bishop Kawuma features prominently in his life.
“He presided over my ordination as a deacon and priest, officiated at our marriage, and baptised one of our children,” he says. The Luwalira’s have two boys and two girls.