Construction of Uganda Martyrs Shrine Museum Commences
The construction of Uganda Martyrs Museum in Namugongo yesterday picked steam with Uganda president Yoder Muse Venice donating shs.410m during a special service for fundraising and laying its foundation stone.
The shs 36bn multipurpose complex Museveni was told, is expected to be built in phases with its tentative completion date being late 2018.
The site upon which the museum is being built is the place where 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic martyrs were burnt to death in 1886 on the orders of Kabaka Manga the then king of Buganda kingdom the biggest tribe in Uganda.
The leadership of the church of Uganda hope the complex will help add value to a historical site that annually draws thousands of pilgrims and tourists to Uganda on account of its significance to the Christian faith. The Martyrs Day is celebrated every June 3, at the shrine.
Drawing parallels between history of Uganda martyrs and Ugandan’s struggle to free their country from fangs of tyranny, a jovial Museveni lacing his speech with biblical verses, said “the culture of heroism and martyrdom is part of Uganda’s history.
“Bazillion Okello confronted some peasants in Luwero and gave them a condition to either reveal where the rebels were or face death. They chose to die although they knew where the rebels were hiding, ” Museveni said.
“So, Uganda’s heroes, just like the Martyrs died for a noble cause for which we remember them every year.”
Museveni, who had carried along shs 40m in cash, increased his pledge to shs 400m with the balance of shs 360m to be paid this week.
Museveni also auctioned a portrait of Petero Kisosonkole – the landlord who donated 48 acres of the land where the museum is being built – at shs 65m, with himself forking out shs 10m for it.
In order to raise the tourism potential of the museum and the annual Uganda Martyrs fete in Namugongo, Museveni promised that the road from Kireka to Namugongo will soon be revamped with public walkways.
Earlier, the archbishop of Uganda,the Most Reverend Stanley Ntagali led the service graced by Vice President, Edward Ssekandi, the Catholic Bishop of Kampala Diocese, Dr. Cipriano Kizito Lwanga and the top echelon of the Anglican Church in Uganda.