Church House has been rebranded to JANANI LUWUM CHURCH HOUSE inline with a resolution of the Provincial Assembly and in memory of the late Archbishop Bishop Janan Luwum.
This development was announced on Friday 17th February 2023, by the Archbishop of Uganda The Most Rev. Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu.
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow. This is to inform you that CHURCH HOUSE has been rebranded to JANANI LUWUM CHURCH HOUSE in line with a resolution of Church of Uganda’s Provincial Assembly. I thank Rev. Jasper Mpiriirwe and his Church Commissioners team for taking lead in this,” Dr. Kaziimba said.
Kanani Luwum Church House, now the former Church House, is a commercial building in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The building is owned by the Church of Uganda.
The skyscraper is located at plot 34 Kampala Road, the main business street in Kampala. This location lies within Kampala Central Division, in the central business district of Uganda’s capital city.
Church House is owned by the Provincial Office of the Church of Uganda. Shares in the holding company, Church of Uganda House Limited, were purchased by Anglican dioceses and parishes in the country. The building houses the offices of the Archbishop of Uganda. The remaining space is rented to banks, restaurants and other commercial interests, in order to raise funds to pay the construction mortgage. After the mortgage is retired, the income will fund other church projects.
Equity Bank Uganda Limited, the bank that holds the 70 percent equity mortgage on the building, maintains its headquarters and main branch, on the first four floors of the skyscraper
The idea to construct a building of this nature was conceived in 1965, with the aim of enabling the Church of Uganda to financially sustain itself. However, earlier attempts to fundraise did not meet the set targets. The Church took those funds and bought land in different parts of the city. By selling those real estate holdings in the 2000s, the provincial office was able to raise the required 30% of the construction costs. They also secured a 70% mortgage from Equity Bank Uganda Limited to complete the construction.
Construction of the premises finally started in January 2011 with an initial timeline of 18 to 24 months. However, due to unforeseen delays, completion of the project was temporarily slated for the second half of 2014. Construction was finally concluded and the completed building was handed over to the owners in June 2018. The completed building was officially commissioned by Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the then prime minister of Uganda, on Friday, 24 August 2018.
The lead contractor on this project was Cementers Uganda Limited, a local construction company. The initial estimate was for UGX40.73 billion (US$16.3 million). Construction delays may have pushed those figures higher.
Janani Jakaliya Luwum (1922 – 17 February 1977) was the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda from 1974 to 1977 and one of the most influential leaders of the modern church in Africa. He was arrested in February 1977 and killed shortly after on the orders of former military ruler Idi Amin on February 16, 1977, together with ministers Erinayo Oryema and Oboth Ofumbi over allegations of plotting to overthrow his military junta.
February 16 was gazatted as Janani Luwum memorial Day and declared a public holiday in Uganda to remember now the Church of Uganda Saint.
According to news sources, the idea of naming the building after Janani Luwumu was first fronted in 1977. However, this was abandoned because they didn’t want to annoy the Amin regime.