41 Years after Janani Luwum’s Death; Celebrating Courage and Responsibility

Archbishop Janani Luwum, born in 1924, was killed in 1977 for his strong criticism toward President Idi Amin’s regime, which assumed power in 1971 and was marked by excessive turmoil.

In 2015, President Yoweri Museveni declared February 16, the day he was killed a public holiday, and this year, on the very day, the 41st anniversary of his Martyrdom, will be celebrated in Wii Gweng, Mucwini, Kitgum District.

The development was revealed Tuesday by Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity Rev. Fr. Simon Lokodo (MP), who was addressing journalists at the media center in Kampala.

Minister Lokodo praised Bishop Luwum for being courageous despite the prevailing climate to speak against the bad deeds that were sweeping across the country and orchestrated by Amin’s leadership.

“ … You may know Archbishop Janani Luwum served during the times of turmoil in Uganda; specifically under the reign of the Gen. Idi Amin Dada. This however did not hinder him from standing out for the values that we up to date, strive to uphold in this country.

“He was known for defending the truth at all times irrespective of the repercussions.  His ability to speak the truth against the brutality towards Ugandans exhibited during Amin’s regime was a sign of unwavering courage,” he said.

“He strived to see youth, women and men involved in gainful employment; thus promote hard work for self-reliance. He was passionate about development in not only Acholi Sub-Region, but in all areas where he served, with emphasis on poverty reduction and rural development,” he added.

“For the love of his country, and the love for the work of God, he willingly took on the responsibilities given to him not only for his wellbeing but also for the community he served.”


Among other things, Fr. Lokodo noted that Archbishop Janani Luwum was a reflection of the ten (10) National Ethical Values that are embedded in the National Ethical Values Policy that was developed in 2003 by the Government through the Directorate for Ethics and Integrity.

The values include, as listed by the minister — Respect for Humanity and Environment, Honesty: uphold and defend the truth at all times, Justice and Fairness in dealing with others, Hard work for self reliance, Integrity: Moral uprightness and sound character, Creativity and Innovativeness, Social Responsibility, Social Harmony, National Unity and National consciousness and Patriotism.

As a way of celebrating his incredible work, Luwum’s statue was constructed on the West Wall of Westminster Abbey, London, among statues of 10 other 20th Century Martyrs, since July 1998.

Who is Archbishop Janani Luwum?

Archbishop Janani Luwum was born in 1924 in Mucwini among the Acholi people. He went through all stages of education at the time until he took on his first calling as a teacher at Boroboro College, Boroboro Parish in Lira District.

On 6th January 1948, in dramatic conversion, Janani Luwum accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour and it is then that he switched to Church Ministry. Janani Luwum served in almost all key positions in the church ranging from Principal of Buwalasi Theological College, Provincial Secretary at Namirembe, Bishop of Northern Uganda and in June 1974 following unanimous election; he was installed as Archbishop of the ecclesiastical Province, then covering Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire (Eastern DR Congo).

He was the second African Archbishop of the Province of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire; and the second Bishop of Kampala Diocese.


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