26 Bishops Attending Luwum Memorial

3362 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali is leading prayers assisted by at least 26 bishops to remember a church leader who stood his ground in the face political threat and paid the ultimate price. Michael James Nazir-Ali, the retired bishop of Rochester Diocese in the United Kingdom and Mike Hill, the Bishop of Bristol are among the bishops, according to Reverend Francis Okot, the Missions Director of Kitgum Diocese.

Prayers are underway at Mucwini in Kitgum district, the venue of the main event to mark the 40th anniversary Archbishop Janani Luwum's murder.
 
Today marks 40 years since the archbishop was murdered on the orders of President Idi Amin Dada, after he was suspected of plotting to overthrow the government.
 
Luwum, the then Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire, was murdered on February 16, 1977 in Kampala and is buried at his ancestral home in Wii Gweng Village, in Mucwini Sub County in Kitgum district. Killed together with the Archbishop were two government ministers, Charles Oboth Ofumbi for Internal Affairs and Lt. Col. Erinayo Oryema for Culture.
  
Vice President Edward Sekandi, Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah and Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda are among the guests at Mucwini.
  
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali is leading prayers assisted by at least 26 bishops to remember a church leader who stood his ground in the face political threat and paid the ultimate price. Michael James Nazir-Ali, the retired bishop of Rochester Diocese in the United Kingdom and Mike Hill, the Bishop of Bristol are among the bishops, according to Reverend Francis Okot, the Missions Director of Kitgum Diocese.
  
Thousands of Christians have been converging at the Janani Luwum's home, many of them trekking hundreds of kilometres to the venue. William Komakech the Resident District Commissioner Kitgum has urged the pilgrims to remain peaceful and observe their own personal security for a successful celebration. 
  
"The greatest security is personal security. Let the pilgrims remain peaceful and show love like the shepherd whom they've followed here did. If anyone attempts to disrupt our peace, we shall not compromise with him," he notes.
  
Up to 190 police officers drawn from the districts of Kitgum, Lamwo, Agago, Pader and Gulu are deployed at the venue. Patrick Okema, the Police Public Relations Officer Aswa region says the officers have been tasked to favour no one and maintain maximum vigilance throughout the event.  He is however worried as to what the officers will be fed on given that no financial support by the organising committee.
 
"I have 190 officers here right now. We struggled to bring them because we were not given any funds by the organisers of the event. They have been here since yesterday and others much earlier. We are hoping that they will be provided with some kind of feeding despite the financial challenges they expressed," he observed.
 
Among other security personnel keeping guard at the celebrations are the patriotism clubs and a few army officials.  There is one body scanning point at one of the entrances to the venue, with a pair of hand scanners. 

 

About the author

Annet Lekuru
Annet Lekuru is the Uganda Radio Network bureau chief for Arua. She is new in this post, assigned August 2016. However, she is no stranger to URN subcribers and readers.

Lekuru started her journalism career in 2011 with training from Radio Paris where she worked until April 2015. She started writing for URN in May 2015 as a freelance reporter.

Lekuru loves and continues to admire URN because of the reporter privilege to identify and report on issues close to one's heart which offers an opportunity to the reporter to develop a passion in a beat and report on it exhaustively.

With a background training in Conflict Sensitive Journalism she hopes to graduate into doing remarkable and recognised human rights and human interest stories in the near future.

She is interested in reporting on issues of justice, law, human rights and health.