Former Kumi Diocese Bishop, Thomas Edison Irigei, Passes Away at 69

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former kumi diocese bishop thomas edison irigei passes away at 69
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Bishop Michael Okwii Esakan confirmed the passing of the retired Bishop Thomas Edison Irigei of the Church of Uganda for Kumi Diocese in a somber announcement. The 69-year-old passed away at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment since the previous Wednesday.

The news was shared with the public by Bishop Esakan, who expressed sorrow while emphasizing hope, drawing on a biblical reference from 1 Thessalonians: 4:13. The deceased, fondly referred to as Papa Thomas Edison Irigei, was not only the first bishop of Kumi Diocese but also the former dean of the province of the Church of Uganda.

As of the latest update, the body of the deceased has been transferred from Soroti Hospital to Bethesda Hospital mortuary for appropriate arrangements.



Archbishop Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu, the House of Bishops, and the entire Church leadership have been informed of the sad event. The tentative date for the burial at St Philip’s Cathedral in Ngora is set for next Monday. Meetings are ongoing at various locations to gather resources for the burial ceremony.

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Bishop Esakan took a moment to acknowledge the contributions of the late bishop, praising him for his dedication to the ministry of God. As the first bishop of Kumi Diocese, Irigei played a crucial role in preaching the word and overseeing the construction of churches in many parishes within the diocese.

The late bishop’s son, Samuel Patrick Okwii, shared that his father had battled diabetes and hypertension for an extended period. Despite periodic health challenges, this time proved different as the bishop peacefully rested after being admitted on Wednesday.

Rev Can Semu Onango, the former Kumi diocesan treasurer, remembered Irigei as a fatherly and approachable church leader who mentored and served with humility. He highlighted the bishop’s significant impact on the community, nurturing individuals and contributing to the construction of numerous churches.



Reflecting on the life of the deceased, Bishop Irigei became the bishop of Kumi Diocese in 2001 when it was created out of Soroti Diocese. Before assuming this role, he served in various capacities, including as a chaplain, curator, principal, and chaplain again. His term as bishop lasted for 18 years until December 2019, when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 65. Irigei, originally from Mukongoro in Kumi District, is survived by his wife, Jenifer Irigei, and nine children.



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