Police calls for vigilance ahead of Namugogo celebrations

By Robert Segawa

Police have warned pilgrims of possible terror attacks during the Martyrs Day celebrations on June 3rd.

Addressing the media at Catholic Martyrs Shrine Police Command Center, the Deputy Police Spokesperson Polly Namaye said they got intelligence information indicating that some terror associated people have entered Uganda.

Uganda is a victim of terror attacks after the incident that happened in 2010 when about 70 died in a bomb blasts at both Ethiopian Village in Kansanga and Lugogo Rugby grounds.

Namaye calls on the public and the Pilgrims in particular to be vigilant and responsible in reporting all suspicious objects they come across.

She also confirmed that they are implementing the Kaveera free campaign at both shrines by stopping pilgrims with polythene bag to access the venues unless they drop them.

Namaye further encouraging people not to come with polythene bags to Namugongo Shrine as only way to save our environment.

On the other hand police has issued traffic guidelines ahead of the Uganda Martyrs day celebrations slated 3rd June.

During Joint press briefing the Kampala Metropolitan Traffic and Road Safety Police Commander Norman Musinga said that there will be no parking for general public at both Catholic and Anglican shrines

Only VIP ‘s with red stickers on their vehicles will be allowed to access reserved parking through Kyaliwajara.

Musinga said that VIP’s at protestant church will access the venue through Bweyogerere – Buto road, Muslim pilgrimages will use Bweyogerere -Buto road and park near the Martyrs mosque.

Foreigners to Catholic Church with yellow stickers will park at Vienna college yet Pedestrians walking to Namugongo will use Kyaliwajala road to the shrines.

Meanwhile, private cars including taxi’s and motorcycles will not be allowed to go beyond the inner and outer cut off points as Musinga explains.

He further mentioned cut off point for motorists at Naalya roundabout, Kireka trading center, Seeta trading center, Namugongo Ssemambo road, Kiira point.

He adds that Fuel tanks, Boda boda’s and taxi’s will not be allowed to reach the cut off point,only pedestrians and bus with Blue stickers will be allowed to go beyond

Arch Bishop Odama speaks out on Government laxity on funding martyr’s day celebrations

BY Moses Kidandi

The Archbishop of Gulu, Rt. Rev John Baptist Odama has expressed concern over government’s shrinking motivation on contributing towards the organization of the Uganda Martyrs day celebrations.

Responding to questions from the journalists during the final briefing on the preparations for this year’s celebration, His Grace Odama says that they had expected almost a billion shillings or a half of the budget as a contribution from government but were surprised that it managed to send in only UGX80m.

Few years ago, government gazetted and elevated the Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo as national tourist sites to the international level of pilgrimage sites and also committed its self to always take part in activities of commemorating the Martyrs day on every June 3rd.

Gulu Archdiocese, the animator of this year’s celebrations budgeted UGX900M for the organization which is yet to be fully raised with almost 40 percent of the balance.

However, Odama welcomes the contribution from government, the public and other sectors urging those with pledges to honor them to enable the church realize the essential items budgeted for the success of the event.

Meanwhile, He reemphasized on discouraging the use of Kaveera at the Uganda Martyrs Catholic Shrine during the forthcoming Martyrs day cerebration.

Bishop Gasatura applauds Baganda for their religious legacy

By Annah Nafula

As the martyrs’ day celebrations in Namugongo proceed smoothly ,  guest preacher  at the Anglican shrine Bishop Nathan Gasatura of Butare Diocese, Rwanda has called upon Christians to desist from tribalism.

In his sermon Bishop Gasatura complimented the Baganda for accepting and spreading Christianity in many part of East Africa including Rwanda.  He observed that the largest percentage of christian martyrs were Baganda. He therefore asked that the Baganda distance themselves from land wrangles and focus on keeping the legacy of the Uganda martyrs.

The self confessed descendant of the East African revival  said it is high time Uganda stands and defend its legacy as a whole because of the blood the Uganda martyrs shed.

He urged Christians to take responsibility rather than blame their leaders . He said, “If our leaders fail they should not be blamed but blame yourself because as a christian you have not carried your legacy forward.”



Thousands at Namugongo as Hoima leads this year’s matyrs’ day celebrations

Prayers are underway at both the Anglican and Catholic shrines at Namugongo where thousands are gathered to celebrate Uganda Martyrs Day.

At Nakiyanja, the Anglican shrine, Namirembe Diocese organised this year”s celebration. Canon Henry Ssegawa, the vicar of Namugongo Martyrs Church, says at least 1,000 pilgrims walked on foot to the site, with 25 dioceses sending pilgrims.

The guest preacher is Bishop Nathan Gasatura of Butare Diocese in Rwanda. Archbishop Stanley Ntangali, Namirembe Diocese Bishop Kityo Luwalira and other church leaders are in attendance.

Some of the bishops in attendance are Henry Katumba of West Buganda, Luweero bishop Elidad Nsubuga, Micheal Lubowa of Central Buganda, Samuel Gidudu of North Mbale and Steven Namanya of North Ankole among others.

Newly consecrated bishop of West Ankole, Johnson Twinomujuni and the bishop-elect of Lango Diocese, Dr Alfred Olwa, are also in attendance.

Retired bishops Jackson Matovu of central Buganda, Kefa Kamya of West Buganda and Yona Katonene who retired recently as West Ankole bishop, are in attendance.

The service is in commemoration of the 25 Anglican martyrs.  The Anglican shrine sits on the exact spot where most of the martyrs, both Anglican and Catholic, were executed some 131 years ago on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda. A decade earlier in around 1876, it is believed that more than 74 Muslims were also killed at the same spot on the orders of Mwanga’s father, Kabaka Mutesa I.

The Anglican martyrs include Mark Kakumba, Joseph Lugalama, Nuwa Sserwanga, Noha Walukagga, Alexander Kadogo, Moses Mukasa, Frederick Wigram Kizza, Elias Mbwa, Daniel Nakabandwa, and Robert Munyagabyanjo.

Others are Mubiazaalwa, Lwanga, Mukasa Lwakisiga, Kiwanuka Giyaza, Wasswa, David Muwanga, Kwabufu, Kifamunnyanja, Muwanga Njigija, Kayizzi Kibuuka,  Omuwanga of Gabunga, Muyanja Katoogo and Muddugguma. The church also added onto the list Bishop James Hannington who was killed in Busoga in October 1885 and Archbishop Janani Luwum killed in February 1977.

Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi is representing government.

At the Catholic Shrine mass kicked off at about 9:30am led by Bishop Vincent Kirabo of Hoima Diocese.

Uganda Orthodox Church head and two Anglican priests joined the clergy in procession.

Key government officials at the shrine include Chief Justice Bart Katureebe and finance minister Matia Kasaija among others.

A number of languages including Kiswahili, English, Runyoro-Rutooro and Luganda are being used in the mass.




Small businesses thrive around Namugongo as pilgrims continue to arrive

By Robert Segawa

Namugongo is now a sea of human activities as crowds of pilgrims in hundreds continue to flock the martyrs’ shrines a day before martyrs day celebration.

Motorists can no longer access the road to Namugongo because they have been banned in order to give way to the pilgrims.

A combined force of both military and police personnel including plain clothed officers has been deployed in and outside the shrine to provide maximum security.

Transport fares have been hiked since motorists used feeder roads to access Namugongo shrine. Transport from Kampala to Namugongo has been 2000 but taxis are now charging between  3500 to 4000 .

A number of traders have also  shifted their businesses to Namugongo bringing their services closer to the pilgrims.

Meanwhile, Father Jude Ssemambo the chairperson organizing committee for this year’s celebrations said all set for martyrs day tomorrow and asked believers to keep time adding that players of both shrines will begin at 9.30 am and expect to conclude players at 1pm.

Police issues traffic guidelines for Martyrs’ day celebration

By Segawa Robert

Police has this morning issued traffic guidelines that will be followed by all road users ahead of the martyr’s day celebration’s on the 3rd of June this Saturday.

The guidelines issued by the Kampala metropolitan traffic commander Norman Musinga indicate that no private vehicles will access the two martyr’s shrines. He adds that exception will be given to VIIP cars and those that have been given stickers, the cars will be allowed to park in various areas adjacent to these shrines.

Musinga notes that the police has put up various parking areas around Kyaliwajala, Nalya , Namboole and neighboring areas from where private buses shall pick them to Namugongo Kyaliwajala trading centre.

According to Norman Musinga all roads that access to Kyaliwajala and Namugongo will be one way to only vehicles that have stickers.
 He has warned all people against breaking traffic rules as this will result into penalties as according to the 1998 roads and safety acts, he further warned the public against drink driving  this will be penalized.
The organisers led by the Hoima diocese spokesperson Father Jude Semambo advised the public to manage time to avoid hindrances.
 All buses that have been accredited to transport pilgrims from the parking areas to Kyaliwajala or Namugongo will charge 1000UGX while those from Kampala will part away with 1500UGX In The pioneer buses

Pregnant pilgrim collapses and dies in Matugga

A pregnant pilgrim aged 23 years has collapsed and died along the way.

The deceased has been identified as Molo Scovia from Moroto County in Alebtong district.

Our correspondent Ssebuliba Ezra says Scovia was in a group led by Hon Samuel Okwi the Member of parliament Moroto County and died at St Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church in Matugga 12 miles along Kampala-Gulu highway.

Police in Matuga has removed the body from the church and taken to Mulago hospital for postmortem.

Police adds the police air wing to strengthen security in Namugongo

By Robert Segawa
As the world prepares to attend the Uganda martyrs celebrations this week on 3rd June,  Uganda police force has intensified security alertness amidst rising terrorism.
The move comes at the time when 23 people have are reported to have perished in terror attack in Manchester city which prompted all world security organizations to declare a critical terror alert.
Speaking to media today the police spokesperson Asan Kasingye said that  they expect over 2 million people  and therefore police is taking  a high stand to ensure a violent free celebration .
He said that despite intense deployment , they have introduced special toll free lines through which people can contact police in case of any suspicious people or objects in Namugongo.
He said that to augment space security , police air wing has been brought on board.

Security in Namugongo tightened as pilgrims continue to flock in

By Robert Segawa

Security at Namugongo martyr’s shrine has been tightened ahead of Uganda Martyrs  celebrations  that will be held on the 3rd June.

According to Kampala Metropolitan police commander Frank Mwesigwa, police and crime preventers patrol the area at night to ensure that people and properties are safe.He adds that police has also identified black spot areas where people are usually robbed and have deployed effectively.

Residents are vacanting their homes and renting them out to business people who are anticipating a boom in sales of their various products as people continue to flock into Namugongo.A single room in Namugongo now costs UGX50000- UGX100,000  while double room ranges from UGX150000-UGX300000 .

Lodges, hotels and guest houses in the area have also shot up their prices to UGX 400000- UGX700000 for a period of four days.


By Robert Ssegawa

Police and security agencies have been published security measures that will be followed by all pilgrims who will attend 3rd June.

The guidelines are supposed to be followed by pilgrims who will be heading to both shrines Namugongo and Nakiyanja protestant shrine.

According to Fred Enanga police spokesman all pilgrims and other visitors will be encouraged to travel as lightly as possible. This means to move with little property a head of designated check points.

Pilgrims were also asked to move earlier as line will be too long for through screaming. Parents are advised not to move with their children.

In case they do so, they should provide information concerning them and put it to their pockets.

PHOTO: www.safariants.com