The Ugandan government-aligned New Vision newspaper reports today that Uganda’s new Ethics and Integrity Minister, Fr. Simon Lokodo, is no long a Catholic priest. According to New Vision, Lokodo violated Roman Catholic canon law which forbids priests from holding political office.
The Vatican’s action was slow in coming. Lokodo had long been a parish priest when in 2006 he became a member of Parliament for Dodoth County after his predecessor had passed away. The Ugandan Catholic hierarchy had already criticized his participation in politics, and he was reportedly suspended from his pastoral duties during the election over “a parish administrative glitch.” From 2009 to May, 2011, he served as State Minister for Industry and Technology, and was appointed Ethics Minister after James Nsaba Buturo, an ardent supporter of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, resigned after losing his seat in chaotic party primaries held in late 2010.