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By Mulengera Reporter

Uganda’s Anglican Church says it has invited President Yoweri Museveni to be the Chief Guest at this year’s Martyrs’ Day fete to be held on June 03.

In the wake of the Covid19 pandemic, Church of Uganda (CoU) will hold a ‘scientific’ commemoration that will be attended by fewer people instead of thousands that troop to Namugongo every year.

According to Provincial Secretary Rev Canon William Ongeng, President Yoweri Museveni has been invited as guest of honour at the celebration. Ahead of Martyrs’ Day, Archbishop Dr Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu will make an onsite visit to Namugongo on Monday, added Rev Ongeng.

Both the Catholic and Anglican churches called off the mass celebration of Martyrs’ Day over Covid fears. At the end of April, the Uganda Episcopal Conference of Catholic Bishops agreed to cancel this year’s Martyrs Day celebrations since they would attract large numbers from Uganda, the region and the entire world.

Besides, Bishop Antony Zziwa, the chairman of the Uganda Episcopal Conference, reminded the bishops that all public gatherings had been suspended as early as March 18. Even the Masaka Catholic Diocese that was supposed to lead the mass had expressed their unpreparedness to organzise and lead the event.

On the cancellation of the celebrations, CoU Archbishop Kazimba had said: “These days, things are done like business unusual. You know we celebrated Easter in our homes and even this year we are going to celebrate Uganda Martys’ Day in our homes.  I can’t say that we will not celebrate Marty’s the day. We will celebrate it but we will not be travelling to Namugongo, the site, the real site to celebrate. No, we cannot do that.”

Every June 03, Christians celebrate just over 40 people who disobeyed King Mwanga of Buganda to embrace Christianity, a new religion, and were killed for their defiance. The 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts were killed between January 1885 and January 1887, according to available church records.

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