6,000 foreigners  attend Namugongo prayers

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Martyrs Day celebrations at Namugongo Shrines on Saturday attracted thousands of believers that included more than 6,000 foreigners.

The visitors included religious leaders, diplomats and representatives of governments, with Tanzania topping the foreigners list at 2,156. Some 111 pilgrims came from Malawi, the organisers said, while Zambians numbered 15. There were also pilgrims from Mozambique, South Africa, India, Rwanda, DR Congo, USA, Burundi, France, Italy and Rome.

The celebrations ran on the theme of “Stand firm in the faith that we have been taught” (Colossians 2:7), which calls on the faithful to be strong witnesses in faith, personal lives, families, places of work and all areas that their daily lives influence.

According to Father Vincent Lubega,  Namugongo Catholic Parish priest, estimated that more than 10,000 people from Uganda walked to Namugongo, including 2,340 from Gulu, 2,400 from Tororo, 3,450 from Hoima, 415 from Kabale, 314 from Kasese, 257 from Fort Portal, 500 from Mbarara, 621 from Bugisu [under Tororo Diocese], 234 from Teso region and 321 from Karamoja.

The vendors sold items like clothes, food, booze, roasted meat among others.

The chief celebrant at the Catholic prayers, the Hoima Diocese Bishop Vincent Kirabo, urged the Catholics to pray for the success of the day’s celebrations, beatification of the late Nyerere and for the intentions of all the pilgrims who attended the 2017 celebrations.

Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi was chief guest at both the Catholic and Anglican celebrations.

A pilgrim braves the sweltering sunshine as he

A pilgrim braves the sweltering sunshine as he proceeded to Namugongo Catholic Martyrs Shine. Photo by Colleb Mugume

Health workers carry a woman who fainted a

Health workers and Boy Scouts carry a woman who fainted as she struggled to access the shrines. Photo by Colleb Mugume

Some of the people who travelled to Namu

Some of the people who travelled to Namugongo ended up beer and malwa joints. Photo by Edger Batte

An unnamed man (R)  sleeps after being

An unnamed man (R) sleeps after being overwhelmed by booze. Photo by Edgar Batte

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