Retired Justice James Munange Ogoola has challenged the Anglican Church to build a befitting shrine for the Martyrs killed at Namugongo to match its international reputation.
Speaking as chief guest on Martyr’s day at the Anglican shrine, Justice Ogoola called for the transformation of Namugongo from its current state to a place worthy of receiving visitors from all over the world.
Ogoola drew examples from the Holy land where the tomb of Jesus has been preserved to date among other places. He wondered why Ugandans do not construct a shrine worthy of the martyrs great sacrifice.
He urged the Church to remember all martyrs not only those who died at Namugongo but others like Bishop Hannington who laid down his life because of his staunch faith.
According to Justice Ogoola, Bishop James Hannington was killed together with 48 servants some of who were from the Samia community in Busia, Uganda and Kenya.
He also named two servants Ochola and Osore who survived being killed in Busoga at Bunya on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga.
A tree on which Bishop Hannington’s body, the first Anglican Bishop of the Church of Uganda, was hoisted to protect it from wild animals still stands. A small church was built at Budimo and will be marking 100 years soon. The church still stands in the vicinity a Bible college that trains priests and lay leaders.
Earlier in show of his oratory skill, Retired Justice Ogoola gave an account of what happened to the Martyrs in a poem closely linking the Martyrs’ bravely to that of Shadrack, Mesach and Abednego in the book of Daniel.
“They were roasted, hair, fresh all vaporized to quieten the lips of the gospel, but to their master they remained steadfast to the end.” Justice Ogoola said of the Martyrdom to a sombre audience.
Ogoola caused laughter when he paid tribute to the shortest pilgrims: himself, Joash Mayanja and Ambassador Emmanuel Ssendaula both former Katikkiro’s of Buganda, and himself.
The Prime Minister of Uganda, Amama Mbabazi urged the Anglican Bishops among who was Archbishop Stanley Ntagaali to inculcate a sense of sacrifice into the church. Mbabazi said this spirit existed before but it has since been eroded.
He said the government’s cause is to make peace, and assured the main preacher of the day Bishop Timothy Yahaya of the Diocese of Jalingo in Kabara state in Nigeria that Uganda would never sink to the lawlessness of the days of the martyrs.
Earlier it was reported that the 100 million shillings President Yoweri Museveni gave towards the improvement of the Anglican shrine had been delivered to the account three weeks ago.
The celebrations that took place at the Anglican shrine in Nakiyanja attracted a cross section of Anglican bishops both retired and current from different dioceses in the country. Also in attendance was retired Archbishop of Uganda, Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo.