President Yoweri Museveni has said the death of Bishop Janam Luwum was a tragedy and a shame to the people of Uganda and Africa in general, adding that the reason he appointed Ben Luwum as a Minister was to honour the memory of prelate.
“If the grass burns, the bush will also burn. If a Bishop can be killed just like that, how many people would have been killed,” he said at a mammoth congregation of Christians from around the world that gathered at Mucwini, Kitgum for the commemoration of the Life and Ministry of Janani Luwum the late archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga Zaire.
The President said Muchwini was a scene of another massacre of 30people murdered in cold blood by Joseph Kony, adding that it has been a big challenge sorting out ideology and the culture of extra judicial killings.
“We in the NRM take extra judicial killings very seriously. In the book of Mathew, Jesus taught us to forgive and turn the other cheek. But in the UPDF/NRA we still believe in the law of Moses, “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. That is how we brought discipline in the army. We forgive and forget but after punishment. We need to agree on this. Killing a Ugandan should be a no go area,” he said.
The President said such killings can no longer take place without any accountability and that while Bishop Luwum did his duty, the NRA also did theirs by punishing Amin.
“We are here to celebrate the Life of Luwum, for him he did his duty. Confronted with either to keep quiet, he chose to die for the truth. We salute him for that and we shall always be grateful to his memory forever,” he said.
In memory of his martyrdom, the President has directed the Ministry of Education and that of Culture to sit with the family and plan for the development of Luwum’s final resting place. Initially the family proposed a secondary school but the President urged them to consider a vocational institution to promote skills.
On requests by Bishop Ntangali that a statute be erected in Kampala in memory of Luwum and a holiday be declared for every February 16th in his honour, the president said government will look for a suitable place in Kampala for the statute.
“Since 3rd June is a holiday for our Ugandan martyrs’, it is logical that for our newest martyr, 16th February be declared a public holiday so that people can have time to come here and celebrate the Bishops life.
That means that the Ministry of Education and that of Culture should but in place a museum for education and public places that can be used. The Ministry of Northern Uganda should also put in place a monument for the 30 people massacred by Kony at Pajong, Muchwini,” he said.
The President said government was slowly building the regions capacity with tarmacking the major roads, adding that in the near future, the region will be linked with the rest of the country with a more modern road network.
“Even if we build tarmac roads, you will not take your mattresses and sleep there, you have to sleep in your homes. If you have a tarmac road but poverty is in the home, it is not a good combination,” he said, calling on Ugandans to be players in the country’s economy for both food security and for money rather than be spectators.
The President explained to the gathering why he introduced the army to help boost incomes through the operation wealth creation campaign after the NAADS programme was frustrated.
“I would have locked them up but they have been eating the money in a clever way through workshops salaries etc. So I decided that they go home and I brought in the army. These people are not paid by NAADS but by the UPDF. That money will be for planting and breeding materials.
The President later made a government contribution of Shs 30million to the Bishop Janan Luwum Parish Church at Muchwini.
The Archbishop of York in the United Kingdom, Dr John Sentamu who led the main mass announced a contribution of erecting a befitting shelter for the final resting place of Luwum. Various religious and political leaders paid glowing tribute to the late prelate and hailed the NRM government for restoring sanity and peace to Uganda.
The ceremony was attended by various opposition leaders including the former Leaders of Opossition in Parliament Ogenga Latigo and Nandala Mafabi and the current leader Wafula Ogutu. UPCs Olara Otuunu was instrumental in organizing the celebrations alongside Cecilia Ogwal.