- Every year, pilgrims trek on foot covering long distances from as far as Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan for the 3rd of June commemorations.
The Inspector General of Police Martin’s Okoth Ochola has directed all territorial commanders to provide security to pilgrims trekking from different parts of the country and the neighbouring countries to Namugongo for Martyrs Day celebrations.
Every year, pilgrims trek on foot covering long distances from as far as Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan for the 3rd of June commemorations.
For the last two years, the celebrations were held scientifically for fear of spread of Coronavirus which saw gatherings banned.
In his directive the IGP wants commanders to ensure pilgrims have conducive habitable places, for sleeping, especially at schools, places of worship, community centres and restrict movement under the cover of darkness,.
Fred Enanga, the force Spokesperson said that police will also be responsible to identify those who cannot endure the journey and assist them.
“So far, we have closely policed the movement of pilgrims from Lira Diocese, and expect more teams from West- Nile, Masaka, Fort portal, Mbarara, Soroti, Mbale etc,” said Enaga.
Enanga further noted that the IGP asked pilgrims to have national identification cards, water, masks and carrying light bags to Namugongo as well as restricted movements while trekking to avoid being knocked by speeding vehicles.
"We further urge the pilgrims to carry warm clothing, a few basic items, their identification documents, mobile phones, light bags to avoid wasting energy with heavy loads" he advised.
He adds that it is also advisable that team leaders and individual pilgrims reserve transport money on them, since the return journey is usually not by foot.
While in Kampala, Enanga advised the pilgrims and all well-wishers, especially new comers, to be vigilant and cautious while going through the heavy traffic but to also further guard themselves against criminals who target phones and other valuables.
“We wish all pilgrims a safe journey to Namugongo, as they walk to renew their faith and fulfil their religious obligations.”
The Uganda Martyrs are a group of 45 Anglican and Catholic converts to Christianity who were executed by the King of Buganda Mwanga Basamula Ekkere .
They were executed between 31st January 1885 and 27 January 1887