Parliament has paid tribute to Fr. Robert Isingoma Amooti Binta, the first Chaplain of the Parliamentary Catholic Chaplaincy, who passed away on 20 August 2018.
Fr. Isingoma was appointed by Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala as the first Chaplain of Parliament in September 2003.
Hon. Beatrice Rwakimari (NRM, Ntungamo district), who moved the motion, hailed Fr. Isingoma for his spiritual contribution to Parliament.
“Rev. Fr. Robert lsingoma was a unifying factor among Members of Parliament in spite of their political divide… founded the Parliamentary Herold magazine that educates on matters of God,” reads the motion in part.
The motion urged the House to take cognisance of the services rendered and contribution made by the late Rev. Fr. Isingoma to Parliament and the country at large.
Rwakimari commended the priest for spiritually edifying Members during the Seventh and Eighth parliaments, adding that he also went out of his way to bring the legislators closer to God.
“He would baptize our children, attend our marriage celebrations. He one time drove to Kibaale and conducted mass for Hon. Judith Kabonesa, who was a National Youth Female MP at the time,” Rwakimari said.
Amuru district Woman, MP Hon. Lucy Akello, who is the chairperson of the Parliamentary Catholic Chaplaincy, also commended Cardinal Wamala for appointing Fr. Isingoma, whom she said laid a foundation stone for spiritual development at Parliament.
State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, called on Parliament to fulfill the deceased’s wish of expanding the chapel premises especially after the construction of the new Parliament complex.
Following the Parliament sitting, a memorial mass was held for Fr. Isingoma, where current and former MPs eulogized him as a great leader of the faith.
NRM Secretary General, Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba, also commended MPs for always availing themselves to participate in and lead the activities of the chaplaincy, a spirit which the fallen priest instilled in the legislators.
“We feel good as backbenchers when ministers come to pray with us, because when they get challenges, it is us Christians to support them first before they go to others,” said Lumumba.
At the time of his death, late Fr. Robert Binta was a Parish Priest of St. Benedict Parish in Phoenix, Arizona and had served as a priest for 27 years.
Late Fr. Robert Isingoma Binta will be buried in Fort Portal on Monday, 10 September 2018.