The development of the burial grounds of Janani Luwum will be done in phases.
Plans to have the burial ground of Janani Luwum was conceived following a directive by President Museveni in 2015 to the Ministries of Education, and that of Gender, Labor, and Social Development to build a statute in memory of Luwum.
That same year, the government approved plans to rebury the remains of St. Janani Luwum, which also marked the start of a series of infrastructure built in honor of the late archbishop.
During the 40th anniversary of Janani Luwum in 2017, the artistic impression and plan for the burial ground of the late archbishop were unveiled at Wii-Gweng village, Mucwini sub-county.
However, since the unveiling of the plan for the site, no work had yet started at the site, five years later.
Rev. Can. Patrick James Obonyo, the Secretary of Kitgum Diocese, says the development committee in charge of the development of the site displayed the artistic impression of the site before the synod on August 14, 2021, which also approved the plan.
Rev. Can Obonyo explains that it took a long for the plan to be approved because of the long process of all government programs.
He says the cabinet discussed the approved plan on February 4 this year, and they are yet to forward it to parliament.
He says the approval of the plan by the synod in August 2021 led to the search for the acquisition of land for the development of the memorial ground.
In August 2021, five families in Wii-Gweng village donated 93.7 acres of land to the church of Uganda for the establishment of the St. Janani Luwum Memorial and Pilgrimage Centre.
Rev. Can Obonyo says if funding is approved by parliament, the first phase of development will start with the opening of access roads, construction of a tomb for Janani Luwum, his statue, a prayer arena, site boundary, a gateway, and pilgrims’ approach.
He says some of the key features on the master plan include; a prayer arena, shrines for meditation, educational facilities, church, and recreation facility among others.
Rev. Can Obonyo says it is not clear how much the development of the memorial will cost.
Jackson Omona, the chairperson of the local organizing committee of Janani Luwum commemoration says the Cabinet wondered why the promises made by President Museveni on the development of the site have not been followed for the past five years.
According to Omona, the Cabinet also suggested that a team of religious leaders should meet President Museveni to follow the pledges he made about developing the burial site.
In 2017 President Museveni pledged that government would build a monument and memorial center at Wii-Gweng to keep the memory of Janani Luwum alive. He however did not specify how much, or how much time will be dedicated to the project.
Omona says that celebrations to mark the anniversary of St. Janani Luwum have always been a challenge because money is raised from well-wishers and not from the government.
Omona is optimistic that if funding the done through the national budget, it will make planning for the annual event run smoothly, as well as the development of the memorial site.
Uganda celebrates the martyrdom of St. Janani Luwum annually on February 16. This year’s celebrations will be held under the theme; Hope beyond affliction.
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