State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Mr Simon Lokodo has said Ugandans should respect St. Valentine's Day and celebrate it within its true meaning and purpose.
Commemorated every year on February 14, Valentine's Day is traced to the Catholic Church priest who served during the third century in Rome. It's recorded that when Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men.
However, Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
In his remembrance, the Church recognizes St Valentine's as a patron of love, young people and happy marriages and the day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love.
Mr Lokodo says that the day should be celebrated within the same meaning and urges Ugandans to avoid acts that contradict religious teachings, beliefs and values.
Mr Lokodo observes that the day has in the past been turned into an occasion for promiscuity, lush behavior and manifestation of moral decadence.
"I hear it's a day of romance, what and what…I don't know which I strongly condemn in the strongly terms," Lokodo says.
He adds that since the day, this year, has fallen on Ash Wednesday, marking the first day of Lent, Christians are obliged to put Ash Wednesday ahead of Valentine. Today is the first time in 73 years that Valentine's Day falls on Ash Wednesday.