Ochola orders special protection for Namugongo pilgrims

Sunday May 19 2019

Pilgrims from Gulu walk to Namugon

Pilgrims from Gulu walk to Namugongo ahead of the Martyr’s day celebrations on 3rd June. On Saturday, they made a stopover at Immaculate Mary Queen of Martyrs Kigumba Catholic Parish where they spent a night. PHOTO BY BADRU KATUMBA 

By Monitor reporter

As hundreds of people from various corners of the country trek to Namugongo Martyrs Shrines, ahead of the June 3 Martyrs Day, the Inspector General of Police, Mr Martins Okoth-Ochola has directed police commanders to deploy on major routes that are being used by the pilgrims.

In an Internal memo signed by Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr Asuman Mugenyi, Mr Ochola has tasked regional, district and division commanders to ensure that pilgrims who are trekking to Namugongo are safe.

"As you are aware, pilgrims have started arriving for Martyrs Day celebrations at Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, you are directed to ensure security for pilgrims who have already arrived and those still on the way," Mr Ochola’s memo reads in part.

Police units tasked to protect pilgrims include Kampala Metropolitan Police which has over 2,000 Field Force Unit police officers; the Counterterrorism Unit which has close to 1,000 cops in Kampala and other police officers in the general police section.

Martyrs Day celebrations often attract more than 2 million people from Uganda and various countries like  Kenya, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, among others.

Mr Ochola has also ordered police commanders to deploy motorised and foot patrol in their territories to avoid incidents of criminals attacking pilgrims and motorists knocking them.


This year, the celebrations at the Catholic Martyrs Shrine are being organised by Gulu Diocese.