MONZE Catholic Diocese Bishop Moses Haamungole has warned the Catholic Church against employing relatives.
The bishop has also told the Catholic leadership not to employ their unqualified relatives or people connected to them.
Speaking when he opened the 5th Ordinary Meeting of Secretary Generals at the Symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) being held in Livingstone, Bishop Haamungole warned against Catholics viewing the Church as a charitable entity.
“If one is good at accounts, it is not possible that the son will be a good accountant. Resist temptations to employ relatives…when you
employ a friend, when time comes to retire, [the] friendship also goes. Secretariats are not charitable institutions of the church, please resist the attempts even by some bishops to bring in their relatives or people connected to them who do not qualify,” Bishop Haamungole said.
“My Jesuit friend kept on complaining that the biggest problem of overstaffing at that important institution (Catholic secretariat) was due to the use of the institution as a charitable entity. Those who
worked there always baptised the practice as ‘keeping it in the family’.”
He also warned against financial misuse, saying there was need for accountability and transparency in the Church.
“Try as much as possible to consult human resource experts if it is not part of your secretariat department. There is need also to try and
advertise job opportunities within the conference and in the diocese so that the net is cast wide. This could also enrich the background of people who serve the church. We can sometimes kill the Church if we want to give jobs to families or very connected people,” Bishop Haamungole said.
He said there is need for a cadre of staff that was competent, professional, well motivated and disciplined.
“Yours is an enormous task of ensuring that the movable and landed assets of the Bishops Conference are well maintained and kept
according to the laid down standards and policies. Not only that, you are to ensure that financial resources of the Conference are well managed in transparent and accountable manner and that the
Conference always strives to become and remain self-sustaining,” Bishop Haamungole said.
And a statement released after the meeting stated that SECAM was founded out of the will by young African Bishops during the second Vatican Council (1962-65) with a view of speaking out with one continental voice.
The church added that SECAM was launched by Pope Paul VI, during the first Pope’s visit to Africa in Kampala in July 1969.