From the jaws of drug abuse to a preacher

Retired bishop, Dr Edward Muhima of North Kigezi Diocese is a passionate evangelist whose story of how Christ rescued him from drug and subsistence abuse inspires many. Muhima, 74, hails from a polygamous family of 23 siblings in Kigezi region, lived quite a disciplined life until his early teens when his life took a total U-turn. The Standard’s Doreen Gandhi listened to his story on February 6 during community worship.  

Born in Kigezi region, Kihihi District, on June 14, 1946, I was quite a disciplined young boy who attended my primary school in Nyakinoni and Katwe in Bukonzo region. However, by the time I was in high school in Nyakasura Junior School and Bwera Secondary School, I had a totally different story.

I was so influenced by my peers that I adopted the habit of smoking and drinking alcohol. I was so plunged into alcoholism that I got suspended twice from school and I was told that on the third incident if I got caught, I would be expelled. Despite that warning, I went ahead and drunk, only that I was saved by my friends who hid me in a toilet at night when they were looking for me.

The night in a toilet was so horrible due to heavy stench but still I fell asleep till the following morning. When I woke up, I realised that my colleagues had soaked me  in urine to try and save me.

I lost my sense  of morality, that I also ventured into fornication, fighting for girls that  I was once stabbed by a fellow drunkard; a scary moment I will keep for  my entire lifetime. I was so hot tempered, dishonest, and intolerant.

I was smoking about 25 sticks of cigarettes a day of all brands that in the long run I lost my melodious serene voice, to a chronic cough. 

Since studying from Nyakasura School was prestigious, it put me above my peers  in my village a  privilege  I used  to exploit and force girls into sexual  pervesion that at 19 I fathered a son.

I later told the girl who was claiming that she was pregnant with my child that it wasn’t mine but later due to the striking resemblance, I accepted him.

I became a village nuisance that I could no longer be controlled by any person except alcohol and cigarettes. My dream of joining Kyambogo University was soiled by a friend, who advised me to pretend to be a serious Christian and apply to Bishop Tucker Theological College, which trick worked and I was admitted.

 As a resident of Mackay Dormitory, there, I had a group of friends that I would climb the mango trees on campus to smoke, which prompted the college to cut down some branches.  I also had a fleet of girlfriends.

But little did I know that coming to Bishop Tucker Theological College would bring about a total turnaround in my life. Through the evangelistic mission on campus in April 1969, I met Christ through a friend now Bishop Eliphaz Maari, who later became my  bestman

 He told me about Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew 11:28 and invited me to prayer, which I turned down.Nevertheless, later that night I cried out to the invisible, intangible but ever-present God who answered my prayers that in three weeks my friends started wondering why I was no longer smoking and drinking anymore.

My new-found joy was short-lived after telling a group of friends that I belonged to Christ. I changed a lot, achieving my diploma in theology.  I was later posted to Kigezi College Butobere as a tutor and chaplain. Slowly I grew through the system to become a bishop and May 19, 2017 marked 50 years of my walk with Christ.