St Janani Luwum Day: Pilgrims 103Kms away from Mucwini

Monday February 10 2020

Journey of faith. Fr Lokodo holds the Uganda flag and Bishop of Northern Uganda Diocese Johnson Gakumba (with the cross) lead pilgrims during the trek at the weekend. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OKELLO

Pilgrims are 103kms from Mucwini Sub-county in Kitgum District where Christians countrywide will gather on Sunday to commemorate the martyrdom of Janani Luwum, the former Archbishop of Church of Uganda.
Archbishop Luwum, the head of the Anglican Ecclesiastical Province of Uganda, Burundi, Eastern Congo and Rwanda, was killed in 1977, during president Idd Amin’s regime.
Government has since declared February 16 a public holiday to celebrate his life and his martyrdom.
Speaking to pilgrims at St Luke Church, Koro Sub-county in Omoro District on Saturday, where the foot pilgrimage made a stopover before proceeding to Mucwini, the State Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Fr Simon Lokodo, lauded religious leaders in Acholi Sub-region for the spiritual nourishment they are impacting to the local population.
“The child of this soil has become a uniting factor of the entire world and we shall converge and celebrate St Janani Luwum Day, not because he was a bishop but because he stood for the truth,’’ Fr Lokodo said.
The day will be celebrated under the theme ‘We shall not get tired of doing what is good’.
“We shall not relent in doing what is good even if it means giving up for life, Janani Luwum died for the truth and respect,” Fr Lokodo added.
The state minister also said President Museveni will be the main celebrant. One of the pilgrims, Francis Mawa, said he joined the trek to strengthen and emulate Luwum who endured tough times. “The trek is not easy, but we have kept moving and praying,’’ he said.
Ms Jacky Akello, another pilgrim, wants her prayers answered through St Janani Luwum. She prays for restoration of peace, unity and prosperity. “I hate seeing divided families and nations. My prayers are for peace,’’ she said.
The pilgrims, who have pitched camp at St Luke Church, will resume walking on Tuesday and they are expected to reach Wii-gweng on Friday.
In 2015, President Museveni declared February 16, a public holiday in honour of Janani Luwum.
Late last month, Christians embarked on a 500Km memorial walk for the martyrdom of Luwum. The trek was started from Namirembe Diocese in Kampala to Wii-Gweng Village, Kitgum District.