Government has injected Shs7 billion into tarmacking 11 kilometres of a road from Bufulubi - Kyando - Buyemba under Low Cost Sealing Project. The initiative is aimed at boosting tourism at Bishop Hannington Memorial Site.
“We have contracted CME Enterprise Ltd to construct the road within six months. We hope, when it is finished, it will boost tourism in the area,’’ the State minister for Transport, Mr Aggrey Henry Bagiire, said on Tuesday as he commissioned the construction works.
He added: “Church of Uganda has chosen this place as a holy place and every October 29, we shall be here because it was declared a public holiday.”
Last year, President Museveni declared October 29, a public Holiday in honour of Bishop Hannington.
The Mayuge District LC5 chairperson, Mr Omar Bongo, said Bishop Hannington Memorial site has helped them development the district.
“Mayuge is not the way it used to be, government gave us a public holiday, we are getting a tarmacked road, electricity pipes are being installed, we have piped water and a four-star hotel that is under construction, this has helped to develop the area,’’ Mr Bongo said.
The Bishop of Busoga Diocese, the Rt Rev Paul Naimanyhe, urged residents to utilise Bishop Hannington Day to make money because it will be attracting millions of pilgrims.
“This road will bring money in Mayuge, prepare for this day, I will also buy a plot of land as a bishop so that I can make a business here so that I can earn from the pilgrims,’’ he said.
The Mayuge District Woman Member of Parliament, Ms Julie Zabwe Mukoda, said if residents start planning how to benefit from the site, their family income will increase.
“You start putting businesses on the main roads such as those in Namawojjolo and Najjembe so that you can stop lamenting about poverty. This place is known and many people visit this place every year and the number is likely to multiply because of the beautification that is ongoing,’’ she said.
The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, constructed Century Hannington Resort Cottages after realising that pilgrims had nowhere to spend the night during the tour of the place.
Located in Kyando Village, Bukatube Sub-county, which is a distance of 20 kilometres from Mayuge Town, and 30 kilometres from Jinja Town, one drives on the bumpy and dusty road leading to the memorial site.
The site is believed to be one of the first and largest Christian Martyrdom sites in Uganda.
Bishop James Hannington and 48 of his African helpers were allegedly murdered on October 29, 1885 at the same spot.
About Bishop Hannington
He was the first Anglican Bishop of East Africa. Bishop Hannington became Uganda’s first Martyr on October 29, 1885.
He was killed with his 48 helpers at Kyando Village, Bukatube Sub-county in Mayuge District.
At the time of his capture, Bishop Hannington had 50 helpers, while 48 were killed with him, two managed to escape and later came back to pick his body before moving it to Kenya.
With a plan to return him to England failing, the two men decided to behead his rotting body and delivered only his head.
His body was then buried in Mumais Kenya. It was later exhumed in 1890, brought back to Kampala and buried at Namirembe Cathedral.
He died at the age of 38. At the time of his death, the Bishop and his 48 porters had been in captivity for eight days.