Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has described St. Janani Luwum as a political icon whose martyrdom galvanised efforts to oust the dictatorial regime of former President Idi Amin which set the stage for the liberation of Uganda.
“We look at the life of St. Janani Luwum not only in the religious aspect but also in the social and political aspects, ” said Rugunda, adding that his life was a challenge to both political and religious leaders.
He said it was befitting to rekindle the fervent fire that was lit by Archbishop Janani Luwum to make his life and memory more celebrated at both national and international levels.
Rugunda said it was incumbent upon Ugandans to ensure that all the necessary arrangements were in place to permanently immortalise the life of St. Janani Luwum as a preeminent Christian leader and 20th century martyr.
He revealed that President Yoweri Museveni fully supported this venture and would grace the annual remembrance of Archbishop Luwum on 16th February 2015 in Mucwini, Kitgum district where he was buried.
The Premier who is also the Chairman National Organising Committee made the remarks during the launch of the International Celebration of Archbishop Janani Luwum day by the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali at St. Paul’s Cathedral Namirembe on Monday.
This year, the Church, Government and other stakeholders are coming together to significantly expand the annual remembrance of the late Archbishop Luwum and also make it an international celebration.
Archbishop Ntagali asked for support of all dioceses, churches, Christians and all people of good will who recognise the significance and importance of a national remembrance of the life and witness of Archbishop Janani Luwum.
“The Church in Uganda, as well as the global church around the world has regarded Archbishop Janani Luwum as a martyr for the Christian faith,” said Ntagali. “He died because of his faith in Jesus Christ and his willingness to boldly proclaim it to the highest people in our land.”
Ntagali said a dedicated team of national leaders from different denominations had come together and established St. Janani Luwum Memorial Charity, chaired by the Bank of Uganda Governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile.
Archbishop Janani Luwum was brutally murdered by elements in former President Idi Amin’s Government on February 16, 1977 following a period of prolonged political upheavals at the time.
Also expected at this year’s annual remembrance of Archbishop Luwum are South Africa’s retired Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu and Church of England’s Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who are also patrons of St. Janani Luwum Memorial Charity.