Ugandan rabbi said to make history with parliament win
search

Ugandan rabbi said to make history with parliament win

Gershom Sizomu reportedly wins eight-way race, becoming first Jew to serve in African country’s legislature

Rabbi Gershom Simozu shakes the lulav in front of the community sukkah  at the Nabugoya Hill Synagogue in Uganda. (Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)
Rabbi Gershom Simozu shakes the lulav in front of the community sukkah at the Nabugoya Hill Synagogue in Uganda. (Melanie Lidman/Times of Israel)

Ugandan Rabbi Gershom Sizomu reportedly won a hotly contested seat in the country’s Parliament.

With his victory in an eight-way race on Feb. 19, Sizomu, who ran with main the opposition party, becomes the first Jewish person to serve in the Ugandan Parliament, the Forward reported Wednesday.

One of Sizomu’s ruling party opponents is contesting the vote, according to the Forward. There are 380 lawmakers in Uganda’s Parliament.

Sizomu ministers to Uganda’s native Jewish community, called the Abayudaya, 300 of whom converted to Judaism in 2003 under his initiative. Israel and Orthodox Jews in the Diaspora do not recognize the Abayudaya as Jewish.

A fourth-generation Ugandan Jew, Sizomu is an ordained Conservative rabbi.

In his first bid for Parliament in 2011, Sizomu finished second in the Mbale District. He contested the results, saying the election was fixed. The rabbi said his supporters from the opposition Forum for Democratic Change Party were chased away from more than eight polling stations and ballot boxes were stuffed with ballots that had been filled out.

As of Wednesday, Sizomu’s Gershom Sizomu for Parliament Facebook page had not been updated to reflect his victory.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments