President Yoweri Museveni has pledged that government is going to turn St. Janani Luwum Memorial grounds into a national pilgrimage site. The centre is located at Wii Gweng village in Mucwini sub-county, Kitgum district.
“We are going to develop this site as we did to Namugongo for the Catholics and the Anglicans. We shall do it,” President Museveni said.
H.E the President made the revelation today during the commemoration of St. Janani Luwum Day at Mucwini Primary School playground in Kitgum District.
This year’s celebrations ran under the theme: “United for Service and Growth.”
Gen. Museveni also pledged to clear the debt of the Church House, a commercial building owned by the Church of Uganda in Kampala City.
According to the Archbishop Church of Uganda, His Grace Stephen Kazimba Mugalu, they have been paying a debt of Shs60bn and now remain with a balance of Shs16bn.
“The debt for Church House, I thought it had been solved but if it has not been cleared I will talk to the Ministry of Finance and we see how we can go about it,” he said. “On Canon Lawrence School where Archbishop Luwum studied from we are also going to rehabilitate it. I will tell my people to discuss with the concerned parties.”
The President also revealed that he was happy that with the help of his colleagues, he was able to avenge the death of Archbishop Janani Luwum and other good Ugandans who were killed for no good reason.
“These people thought that if you kill others you succeed. Even the conflicts between the Kabaka and Obote were all unnecessary. I was there in DP. This was really very unfortunate and a lesson to Uganda and to Africa. These mistakes were unnecessary. I feel so sad that these people died unnecessarily. We are talking about Janani Luwum but there are also many other prominent people who died for no good reason,” he expounded.
“But at the same time I feel happy because we avenged the death of these people who died for no good reason. I’m so happy I was part of the group. God supported us and we defeated all those killers that is why we are here remembering, and I would like to salute all the people who contributed to the fight. It’s good that we are celebrating and remembering Janani Luwum”
President Museveni also commended the Church of Uganda for standing strong against the homosexuality vice which is being supported by the Church of England.
“I want to congratulate believers for rejecting homosexuality. This problem of homosexuality is not something you should normalize and celebrate, I told Europeans that there were a few homosexuals before they came here, I have heard stories, but this was deviation from normal. But now the Europeans don’t listen to other people’s views, they want to turn the abnormal into normal and force it on others,” he remarked, adding that, “But it is good that you took a stand and you said that Canterbury if you want homosexuality go, but here we say God is Mighty and we are not going to follow people who are lost.”
At the same event, President Museveni urged the people of Kitgum to work towards creating wealth in order to stabilise their household incomes.
“So you the elites when we talk to the people that we want schools, roads and hospitals etc., that is development. Are there good roads here, have they solved poverty? The tarmac road is here and we should use it to create wealth, if you don’t do so, development will be there in the area but you will be having poverty at your home.
In the Book of Genesis when God created man, He gave him two mandates, produce and multiply and establish dominion over nature/creations. The NRM is always pushing that line, when we talk of Education, health, wealth, modern farming; we are in the same line of establishing dominion over nature. We have now decided to intensify the program of irrigation. Look out for that, they shall be approaching you to offer support,” he added.
On the issue of Karimojong warriors causing insecurity in the region as raised by Chua East legislator, Hon. Margaret Lamwaka, President Museveni assured residents that government has all the capacity to deal with such security problems and it’s going to be solved.
“I now direct the RDCs and the Minister for Northern Uganda to work with Okello Oryem (State Minister for Foreign Affairs) to give me a detailed report on those raids, day by day and place. We have capacity to deal with all this. There’s no reason for someone to cause this confusion. In the middle of March, I will come here if they have failed to solve it, I will solve it,” he noted.
The President also used the same function to send a warning to Education stakeholders who charge fees in Universal Primary and Secondary Education schools, saying they are the biggest saboteurs of government programs when it comes to providing free Education to vulnerable Ugandans.
“We came up with UPE and later alone USE but some of the headteachers and parents don’t get it, we send money for UPE or USE but they introduce school charges and politicians are keep quiet. The result is that many children drop out of school. The rich people can pay money in private schools, but the children of the poor should study for free. We are going to come up with tough measures,” he warned.
On his part, the Archbishop Kazimba Mugalu lauded government through the able leadership of President Museveni for always extending annual support towards the celebrations of St. Janani Luwum Day.
“Archbishop Luwum died because of his Biblical values, advocacy for social justice and other things. We are grateful to the government of Uganda for recognising this man and what he did for Uganda and for making this day a public holiday,” Archbishop Kazimba said.
“Again for the legacy of this man, we appreciate him by building an income generating facility in Kampala, Janani Luwum Church House, Your Excellency we thank you for the support.”
The Archbishop also requested President Museveni to join hands with the Church of Uganda to ensure that homosexuality is lawfully dealt with.
“We appeal that that Anti-Homosexuality bill is signed again. Janani Luwum was bold, we want you to be bold like him and fight all the vices attacking our nation,” he said.
The Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, Hon. Akello Rose revealed that the master plan to develop Archbishop Janani Luwum’s burial site into an international pilgrimage centre is already in place, awaiting for funding from government.
“The target was to have the site ready by 2027,” she asserted.
Janani Luwum (c. 1922 – 17 February 1977) was the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda from 1974 to 1977 and one of the most influential leaders of the modern church in Africa. He was arrested in February 1977 and died shortly after. Although the official account describes a car crash, it is generally accepted that he was murdered on the orders of then-President Idi Amin.
The event was attended by the Chief Justice of Uganda, His Lordship Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, Ministers, Members of Parliament, religious leaders among other officials.
Story and Photos by PPU.