Museveni pledges vestments for African Bishops

President Yoweri Museveni has promised to procure vestments for the African bishops coming to attend the symposium of Episcopal Conference of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) in July this year.

The high-level meeting to be hosted in Uganda will mark the golden jubilee of SECAM. Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the Archbishop of Kampala says the President has confirmed the pledge in a communication to the Uganda Episcopal Conference (UEC).

Dr Lwanga said providing the vestments will be the contribution of the President towards the Golden Jubilee. He told millions of Christians gathered at Namugongo to commemorate the Uganda Martyrs Day on Monday. He, however, did not reveal the cost of the clerical dresses.

“We urge you to pray for us as we prepare for that golden jubilee celebration and the meeting. It will also climax with a celebration here at Namugongo on July 29th” he said while addressing the mammoth crowd at Namugongo Martyrs Shrine.

Areal view of the Catholic Martyrs shrine

In his speech read by Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Sekandi, Museveni related the courage of the Uganda Martyrs to that of freedom fighters of the National Resistance Army (NRA) during the bush war.   President Museveni urged the Church to preach hard work among Christians saying even miracles cannot come without work.

Museveni applauded Gulu Archdiocese for successfully organizing this year’s Martyrs’ day celebrations. He also paid tribute to pilgrims from Kenya who perished in fatal road accidents during their pilgrimage to Namugongo.

“I urge us to observe a moment of silence as we pray for them. That is something which could have been avoided if the driver was not reckless. As Uganda government, we condemn it and pray for their families” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Minister of Congo Brazzaville Jean Claude Gakosso said it is miraculous to be in Namugongo to celebrate the martyrdom of the Uganda Martyrs adding that their presence is felt all the way to the Congo River in Congo Brazzaville.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Uganda Archbishop Luigi Bianco who is celebrating the Uganda Martyrs’ Day for the first time following his recent appointment said witness of faith of the young martyrs in the beginning of evangelization of Uganda is a great example for all the Christians.

“The question may arise, from where they received they received the strength and the courage of fidelity to the Gospel until the offering of their young lives? The answer is their fidelity was the gift of the Holy Spirit. Hence, these martyrs invite us to trust in God and also teaches us that it is possible to accomplish the will of God even in difficult situations” he stated.