Sunday, June 3, 2012


Traffic directions for Namugongo ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Uganda should move from the donor dependance syndrome and work around the clock to make money out of Martyrs Day. I had opportunity to spend the night at the Protestant Shrine at Namugongo, however, I must say, Government of Uganda has paid lipservice to the Shrines. If the country has an Agricultural show ground at Jinja, why not have good investments at Namugongo. For a whole week people move to Namugongo, and Government leaves the whole arrangement to the Catholic and Protestant Church, it is sad.
The photo is of Pilgrims having started arriving at the Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo The 3rd June 2012 celebrations at the Catholic Shrine were led by Kasana Luwero diocese. But what capacity does the diocese have to cater for so big the population? Imagine about 300 foot pilgrims were expected to make their pilgrimage from the host Diocese – Kasana-Luweero. More pilgrims are expected from Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Zambia, Malawi, USA, Europe, Asia, and many other parts of the world. We wish them mercy journeys. Pilgrims from other countries and from upcountry could be easily seen, but you wonder, by 8.00pm, the line of pilgrims to enter the Catholic Shrine was up to Kyaliwajala. These people need toilet facilities. Why on earth does Government wait to be shown the reality. Why can't Government buy much of the possible area there and develop the site instead of paying lip services? I was able to see people collecting water from the Protestant site which is about a mile away from the Catholic Shrine, but even when it rained, they did not abandon the lines, but the flow of water! There could by now be a minimal of 10 - 20 pipes to cater for the people to ease their collection of water. What is absurd, we have read in papers of some of our leaders buying buildings in Kampala spending billion on the undertaking, and national issues which end up giving the country a bad image are not dealt with. Hundreds of people who come to sell their wares are just being told off. Namugongo is capable of bringing in a lot of money and improving the image of the country. It is not a matter of taking it a light money and wait to go to beg to the donors as if we don't have heads to think and utilize opportunities that are open.
Pilgrims who turned up at the Anglican Matryrs Shrine. The majority of martyrs were in fact killed at this spot. The number of pilgrims at the Anglican shrine was fewer than those who turned up last year. Photo by Stephen Otage. Thousands of Christians flock Namugongo for the Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations on Sunday, June 3. Despite earlier fears of a terrorist attack, the celebrations went on without any major incident with the police heavily deployed at the venue. Photo by Isaac Kasamani. The choir at the Catholic shrine. Kasana-Luweero Catholic Diocese led this year's celebrations under the theme: "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me," (Galatians 2:20) Pilgrims draw water at the Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine in Namugongo, Wakiso District, on June 3. Many pilgrims believe the water has healing powers. Thousands of pilgrims descended on the shrine to celebrate the annual Martyrs Days, which celebrates the lives of Christians killed by Kabaka Mwanga in the late 19th Century after they refused to abandon their Christian faith.

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