Yesterday as President Yoweri Museveni addressed the country about COVID-19 where he continued to ease lockdown in the country, he said that public gatherings are still suspended, and this includes places of worship like churches and mosques.
Prior to this, religious leaders including Archbishop Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga had been requesting the government to open up worship centres with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for attendees, but Museveni told them to keep up with “distance preaching” via radios and TVs for the time being.
This means there will not be mass gatherings at Namugongo Martyrs’ shrine as the country celebrates Martyrs’ Day tomorrow. This has been emphasized today by the Uganda Prisons Service Spokesperson Frank Baine during a media briefing at Media Center in Kampala today.
“Public gatherings have not yet been allowed even though tomorrow is Martyrs Day. Only 100 people were invited to the celebrations. At the Namugongo Catholic Church, 60 and 40 for the Anglican church. The rest are urged to celebrate from home,” said Baine.
The 100 invited guests for Martyrs Day celebrations at Namugongo include church leaders, and they will do so in an organized manner to observe social distancing.
It should be noted that Martyrs Day celebrations in Uganda on every 3rd of June attract pilgrims from all over the world and draws in crowds of over 2 million people to commemorate the lives of 45 people (23 Anglican, 22 Catholic) that were killed by Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda in the 1880s.