The new Vice Chancellor for the Catholic University of Eastern Africa Rev. Fr. Dr. Pius Rutechura from the Diocese of Bukoba, Tanzania, officially took office on 16th August 2011.
The immediate former Secretary General of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) becomes 6th Vice Chancellor of the university which was founded on 3 September in 1984 in Nairobi Kenya as a Graduate School of Theology, under the name the Catholic Higher Institute of Eastern Africa CHIEA but later on rebranded as the Catholic University of Eastern Africa CUEA, in 1992 after it was granted the Civil Charter.
Rev. Fr. Dr. Rutechura was elected to the post during the 17th Plenary Assembly of AMECEA, which took place at the University grounds between June 27 and July 6, 2011. At the same plenary, Malawian Catholic Archbishop for Blantyre, Tarcisius Ziyaye was re-elected as Chancellor of the University as well as the Chairman of AMECEA, which owns the University; Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo formally the National Director, Canon Law Office at the Kenyan Secretariat was elected to replace Fr. Rutechura as the new Secretary General for AMECEA.
Fr. Rutechura took over from Rev. Prof. John Maviiri who hails from Uganda and who had held the position for nine years. Other previous Vice Chancellors include Rev. Fr. Paul Kalanda from Uganda (1981-1982) he later on became a Bishop, Msgr. Augustine Ndeukoya from Tanzania (1982-1992), Msgr. Deogratias Mbiku from Tanzania (1992-1996), and Rev. Prof. Caesar Lukudu from Sudan (1996-2002). Rev. Prof. John Maviiri took over in 2002.
The installation ceremony of Fr. Rutechura was preceded by the Holy Mass which was presided over by the University Chancellor and chairman of AMECEA His Grace Archbishop Ziyaye. His concelebrants were Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth of the Archdiocese of Kisumu and Archbishop Boniface Lele of Mombasa Archdiocese. In attendance were the outgoing Vice Chancellor Rev. Professor John Maviiri, Secretary General of AMECEA, Fr. Ferdinand Lugonzo among several dignitaries and other invited guests.
In his homily, Archbishop Ziyaye paid glowing tribute to the University’s outgoing Vice Chancellor for his gallant leadership saying, “Like a good captain, he has steered our ship with a commitment that has seen us move from the biblical mustard seed to a great higher institution. Today, our University stands out as one of the largest private universities in Kenya,” he said.
On his part the outgoing Vice Chancellor, John Maviiri stressed the need for the University and its contemporaries in Africa to improve the quality of education in the continent. “Our Bishops in Africa during their 2009 Second African Synod did state that education in Africa is in crisis. This shows how much, we, in the education arena, should pay attention to the issue,” he stressed.
In his remarks, the incoming Vice chancellor promised to steer the regional university with dedication, openness and God’s guidance.
AMECEA wishes him well.