Kampala. The Anglican Church is seeking 30 Million Shillings to prepare for this year’s Martyrs day celebrations.
Rev Esau Bbosa Kimanje, the Assistant Vicar of Namugongo Martyrs Shrine says the function will be limited to strictly 200 guests in line with the Covid-19 standard operating procedures.
Rev Kimanje says the limited budget will be used to organize and decorate the Martyrs chapel in addition to preparing a luncheon for the guests.
Unlike the Catholic Church Shs. 350m budget most of which will be spent on media coverage given the fact that the function will be virtually conducted, Rev Kimanje says they have not planned for airtime for media. He says that they expect different media houses to broadcast the event.
Unlike the previous events where different dioceses led the celebrations, this year’s event will be under the control of the provincial secretariat with the Archbishop of Church of Uganda the Most Rev Dr Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu as the main celebrant.
Meanwhile, administrators of both the Catholic and Anglican Martyrs shrines in Namugongo have closed the sacred places from pilgrims who usually spend nights ahead of the climax of the celebration.
Entrance at the two shrines has been limited to religious tourists and very few Christians who are allowed to say short prayers before they are asked to leave.
Rev Fr Vincent Lubega, the rector at the shrines who also doubles as Namugongo Catholic Parish priest notes that they will not allow any foot pilgrim to access the place.
Rt. Rev. Serverus Jjumba, the Bishop of Masaka Diocese which is leading this year’s celebration has asked Christians to abide by the guidelines.
Bishop Jjumba further cautioned parish priests along different routes to Kampala not to host pilgrims to Namugongo as the norm has been.
“We don’t have any formal arrangement of receiving and hosting these people. We ask that if these people show up at your parish, kindly advise them to discontinue their journey and return to their respective homes,” says Bishop Jjumba.
Rev Kimanje notes that the Namugongo Anglican shrine administrators will also limit access to the holy water which the faithful draw from Mukajanga’s well. He says despite the restrictions, many foot pilgrims camp at the well given the fact that it is open to the residents in the area.
He says that as part of this year’s restriction, the well will be completely closed to residents and the general public on June 2 and 3.
However, Isaac Kamya, a resident of Nakiyanja says this is the main source of water to the people of that area, and closing it leaves them without an alternative.
“That is not a good decision. we cannot spend two days without access to water, that will be very unfair. Let them stop those who camp at the well than limiting access to it,” says Kamya.
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