Uganda Christian University (UCU) has donated sh111m (about $31,000) towards the clearing of shs60b (about $17m) debt that the Church incurred while constructing the commercial complex located in the heart of Kampala in Uganda.
The Donation was received by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda Samuel Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu at the UCU main campus during a visit as the chancellor of the university.
The money was collected from the institution, its staff, and student leaders, shs100m (about $28,380) was from the university while the rest was collected from members of the University Council, the staff members as well as student leaders.
The university’s staff members used their social groupings – Christ-centeredness, diligence, stewardship, integrity, and servanthood – to collect the money. The social groupings are built on the institution’s core values of “a complete education for a complete person.”
Christ centeredness contributed sh2.8m (about $810), integrity sh2.2m (about $630), stewardship sh1.3m (about $380), diligence sh460,000 (about $130) and servanthood sh420,000 (about $120).
The University Council members contributed sh2m (about $580) which they cut from their sitting allowance. The student leaders, under the Guild Government, donated sh1m (about $280).
Kaziimba thanked the university and its staff for the generosity, imploring other Christians to own the project by contributing towards clearing of the debt.
Kaziimba said the building is not fully occupied, with 13 floors lacking tenants. He said the church would advertise calling for tenants for the remaining space, to attract tenants.
In 2010, the Anglican Church, through its business arm, the Church Commissioners Holding Company Limited, secured a sh41b (about $15m) loan from Equity Bank to fund the construction of the commercial complex, the Church House. However, the Church faced challenges in repaying the loan, attributing it partly to the Covid-19 lockdowns.
On June 3, during the Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations, Archbishop Kaziimba launched “Yes, We Can! Yes, we can raise sh60b (about $17m) from one million people.” During the event, he asked individuals and institutions to contribute to the cause.
The idea of constructing the Church House was conceived by Janani Luwum, who was the archbishop from 1974 to 1977. Luwum was in February 1977 arrested and later died in what many believed was murder by the Ugandan regime at the time.
Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo later reignited the idea of the Church House project as a real estate when he was the archbishop from 1995 to 2004. Over sh720m (about $204,500) was collected, but it was not enough to start the project.
In 2010, the Church secured a loan from Equity Bank, and the following year, the project started under the reign of Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi. Six years later, a sprawling 16-story building was commissioned by then-Archbishop Stanley Ntagali.