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Dr. Hilderman Finally Yields to Pressure, Apologises To Catholics Over Attire

The Pressure finally yielded and indeed Hillary Kiyaga aka Dr. Hilderman has finally apologized to Catholic Bishops and Catholic community for performing in a sacred cassock during his album launch concert at Hotel Afrikana in Kampala.

In a statement issued by the Uganda Episcopal Conference, Archbishop John Baptist Odama, the Catholic bishops at their June 4 – 11 meeting had asked Hilderman to publicly apologize for his deliberate abuse and disrespect of the church at his album launch.

“As for the deliberate act of abuse and disrespect for the sacred vestments that Mr. Kiyaga Hillary, also known as Dr Hilderman has displayed of recent, which has hurt the feelings of many Catholics within Uganda and beyond, we demand that he makes a public apology on all channels of TVs present in the country, the radio and print media,” the Archbishop was quoted to have said.


Dr Hilderman dressed in Bishop attire

Dr Hilderman dressed in Bishop attire

The catholic lawyers led by Jude Mbabaali had earlier on petitioned the Uganda Performing Artistes president, Andrew Benon Kibuka to take disciplinary action against Dr Hilderman but he(Hilderman) was adamant. They later demanded a written apology from the catholic musician and a former seminarian.

Dr Hilderman who first hesitated to issue an apology claiming some people were taking advantage of the situation for ‘fighting personal wars’ and to tarnish his image, later publically apologised through the chairperson of the Uganda Performing arts President Benon Kibuka, in a written message and sent recordings to print and electronic media after being issued with threats for legal action and prosecution in courts of law.

“In the first place, his action is an offence and breaches the law that prohibits people from putting on uniforms and attire which they are not supposed to such as the army and police uniforms,” Mbabaali said early last week.

In his message, Hilderman says that it was not his intention to offend anyone with the use of the Bishop’s attire and that, he was doing it for himself and the church, with no intentions of disrespecting religion or anything close to that.

“I’m sorry. I thought I was doing it for myself and the church and this was not intentional. If anyone out there is hurt by my actions, I’m sorry and please forgive me, let’s go forward.”

“I understand my mistake, I hurt some people but my intention was not to disrespect my church or hurt anyone.” He said.

In a related development, the UPDF also issued a stern warning to who ever miss uses army uniforms specifically civilians who put on them as a fashion statement. This warning is mainly directed to musicians and other performing artists especially during the heated debate about Dr Hilderman annoying the Catholic community with his dress code at his album launch. In a strongly worded statement issued by UPDF spokesman Lt Col. Paddy Ankunda, the army has vowed to arrest anyone who fails to comply and abide by this rule
The UPDF has learned with concern the increasing illegal use of military attire by members of the public, especially musicians and other artists. This act has several security implications and undermines the laws governing use of military attire.

The public is therefore reminded and warned that the UPDF Act 7 of 2005 section 164 (1) (a) and (b) prohibits any person, without authority, from manufacturing, selling, offering or exposing for sale, wearing or using any uniform supplied to or authorized for use by the Defence Forces or ANY UNIFORM SO NEARLY RESEMBLING IT. Violation of this provision attracts, on conviction an imprisonment term, not exceeding seven years. Reads part of the statement

Hopefully some of our big artists who like dressing like soldiers have taken this warning seriously as the army is known to be strict on issues of discipline and rule of law.

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