Dr. Olara Otunu, the vice-chairperson of the national organizing committee of St. Janani Luwum has expressed disappointment over the lack of development at Janani Luwum’s resting place in Wii-Gweng village, Mucwini sub-county, Kitgum district.
Luwum, the former Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga-Zaire, was a prominent leader of the modern Church in Africa and a leading voice in criticizing Idi Amin’s brutal regime. He was killed on February 16, 1977, shortly after delivering a note of protest to Amin against his bloody regime.
Ugandans and the world over commemorate Luwum’s day annually on February 16.
In 2015, President Museveni declared the day a public holiday and in 2017, he promised that the government would build a monument and memorial center at Wii-Gweng to keep the memory of Janani Luwum alive.
The centre will comprise a prayer arena to accommodate more than 15,000 people, shrines for meditation, educational facilities, church, and recreation facility among others.
However, to date, none of these facilities has yet been built at the site and the timeline and cost of developing remain unknown.
Otunu has challenged the Church of Uganda and the Archbishop, to lead the development of the area, saying the responsibility of developing the centre rests with the province of the Church of Uganda.
Otunu says it is a shame that monuments have been erected in other countries in Africa and outside the continent in honor of Luwum and yet Uganda has nothing to show.
Otunu also urged the government to allocate money for the development of the memorial, just like it has done in other areas.
Okin P.P. Ojara, the Member of Parliament of Chua West in Kitgum district, however, argued that it became automatic that the responsibility of funding the annual celebration and development fell on the government, the day it declared it a national holiday.
Okin advised the organizing committee of the commemoration of the martyrdom of Luwum to ask for a supplementary budget through parliament so that work on the site starts.
Margaret Odwar Lamwaka, the MP Chua East in Kitgum district, asked the community to start making contributions towards the development of the memorial so that support from the government becomes supplementary.
The main commemoration Service was held on Wednesday at Kololo Independence Grounds under the theme “Hope Beyond Affliction”.
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