Church needs Shs58b to construct Martyrs' museum tower

Tuesday June 2 2020

Pilgrims gathered outside the Uganda Martyrs

Pilgrims gathered outside the Uganda Martyrs Museum at Nakiyanja-Namugongo. URN/FILE 

By URN

The Church of Uganda is seeking Shs58 billion to finance the second phase of the redevelopment of the Namugongo Martyrs' Museum.

The second phase will cover the construction of the worship centre or amphitheater with a parish community church, a five-floor martyrs' museum tower, a 200 roomed museum hotel, a children's park and recreation centre, among others.

Retired Bishop Jackson Matovu, the chairperson of the Uganda Martyrs' Museum Development Committee said that the church will contribute 70 per cent of the required Shs58 billion, while the government will contribute 30 per cent of the cost within five years.

He spoke on Monday at the Anglican Martyrs' Shrine Namugongo following an on-site visit by the Bishop of Namirembe Rt. Rev. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira. The visit comes ahead of the annual commemoration of the Uganda Martyrs' marked on June 3, every year.

The redevelopment of the Namugongo Anglican site into a world class faith-based and pilgrimage tourist centre started in 2014. It is aimed at enhancing the image and potential of the site where 25 Christian converts were killed in 1886.

Bishop Matovu added that the church plans to start with the construction of the worship centre or amphitheatre with the parish community church to accommodate the pilgrims and the increasing community fellowships as well as the museum tower which is a continuation of the museum core site which is in the first phase.

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According to Bishop Matovu, the museum tower shall accommodate martyrdom, the genesis, cultural history of Ugandan tribes, wildlife husbandry, and libraries with the history of religion and documentation.

"These two items are expected to be developed jointly with the government and the Uganda Martyrs' Museum Namugongo, Church of Uganda, development committee together with the fundraising consultants,” he said.

Bishop Luwalira appealed to Christians to continue making contributions to the redevelopment work saying that it was a worthy venture.

Meanwhile, this reporter learnt that the church needs another Shs1.32b to conclude the first phase of the redevelopment project. The first phase includes the martyrs' museum core site structure currently housing sculptures depicting the story of the Uganda martyrs, the boundary wall, two public toilets, among others.

Bishop Matovu says pending works include; fixing of wooden doors and windows with glasses, internal and external finishing, electrical works finishing including CCTV system, fire detection and fighting, solar and lighting system and others.

The others are building a boundary wall and the main entrance gate finishing and landscaping at the Museum core-site.

"We have made several reminders to the government and we keep praying that the government provides us with the balance of Shs1.32 billion to enable us complete the phase one tasks and also settle both the bank loan and the overdue contractor payments," he said.

Bishop Matovu added that they also plan to install the Electronic audio-visual system for the tourists in the museum and a wooden walkway as a guide in the execution areas for Shs315 million, which is not included in the phase one budget.

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