Govt, Church Launch Events for 40th Anniversary of Janan Luwum Martyrdom

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda (2nd R) speaking at news conference on Thursday together with Rtd. Justice James Ogola (R) and other members of the clergy.

Government is set to unveil a master plan for the construction of a memorial site for slain Archbishop Janan Luwum in his birth place of Mucwini in Kitgum district.

This was revealed Thursday by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda His Grace Stanley Ntagali during the launch of events to commemorate 40 years since Luwum was murdered by former President Idi Amin.

Luwum, more about then Archbishop of the Metropolitan province of Uganda, cost Rwanda, Zaire and Boga-Zaire and a principled cleric openly stood up to Amin’s tyranny mostly exhibited through extra judicial killings in 1970s and would later be found dead.

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The church has since then regarded him as a saint for the sacrifice he made to have good governance.

February 16 was gazetted by government as a public holiday to celebrate Janan Luwum’s heroic act and this year, the grand event in Mucwini will be presided over by President Museveni along with other dignitaries.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury will be represented by Bishop of Bristol Diocese Mike Hill who will deliver the sermon,” Ntagali said in a message read by Bishop Hannington Mutebi of Kampala Diocese.

A sculpture in a portrait is to be constructed on the site in Mucwini along with a statue of Luwum, a new church as well as a prayer arena. The church believes this sanctuary will contribute to faith based tourism as pilgrims will always journey to Kitgum to pay tribute to Luwum.

Olara Otunu, the co-chair of the organizing committee for the celebrations said; “We have already procured a contractor to come up with the overall concept of the memorial site and they will produce an artistic impression.”

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda who represented government at the launch revered Janan Luwum for “resisting the tyrannical dictatorship of Amin that led to the death of many Ugandans”.

“We should emulate him so that Uganda can be a freer, democratic and God fearing place than it is,” Rugunda said.

The main anniversary will be preceded by another church service at St. Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe in Kampala on February 5 organized by the Anglican church to celebrate Janan Luwum.

Archbishop Ntagali will deliver the sermon while the Prime Minister will preside over as chief guest.

Government has already set aside Ugsh 690 million to make the necessary preparations to mark the Feb 5 and Feb 12 events.

Bishop Hannington told journalists that over 10,000 pilgrims including those from Eastern, Central Africa and beyond Africa are expected to attend the memorial celebrations.

Archbishop Janan Luwum is recognised as a martyr by the Church of England and the Anglican Communion and his statue is among the twentieth century martyrs on the front of Westminster Abbey in London.

In Uganda, a street in the central business district of Kampala was named after him and the soon to be completed Church of Uganda house along Kampala road will also be named Luwum House.


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