Pilgrims Reach Kampala After a long Walk from Fort Portal

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2,000 pilgrims from Fort Portal Diocese reached Mt Carmel Catholic Church in Busega, the outskirts of Kampala today in the morning.

They were in high spirits since they were nearing their final destination, Namugongo to celebrate Uganda’s Martyrs Day slated on Friday 3rd June.

As we write this article, the trekkers must have arrived at Namugogo Martyrs Shrine because they made a stopover in Busega in the morning and proceeded with their journey to the final point shortly after.

The pilgrims have endured a long walk of about 303 kilometers forth to the Martyrs day celebration on June 3.

The trekkers began their long escapade on 23rd May when they were flagged off by Bishop Muhiirwa of Fortportal Diocese.

While addressing the Media earlier in the morning, The head of the pilgrims’ committee, Fr Titus Winyi said, “we are arranging to receive over 2,000 pilgrims from the Fort Portal Diocese who started off their journey last week. From Busega, we shall be trekking together with the entourage under the guidance of our bishop and other dignitaries till Namugongo.

The population of the pilgrim has been increasing from time to time as the trek was started with only 700 individuals.

“In the past years between 400 and 700 used to walk to Namugongo and the number has increased this time”, The President of Uganda Martyrs Guild for Fort Portal Diocese, Mr. Adolf Kamara said.

The last time Fort Portal Diocese outrightly celebrated the Martyrs’ day was in 1997 when Bishop Paul kalanda was their leader.

The zealous pilgrims have been making stopovers at several places and these include Kaihura, Rwibaale, Kibuye, Mubende NTC, Kiganda, Kiyinda Mityana Diocese, Nswanjere, and Busenga.

At each point, these God devoted fellows would eat food, wash their clothes, and rest before they commence their trek the following day. They were escorted throughout their voyage by a crew of medical practitioners from the Red Cross.

Also, the security personnel has been accompanying them day and night from Fort Portal to Namugongo.

A few days ago, one of the pilgrims from the West Ankole Diocese collapsed and died after a 10-day trek from Rubirizi District Western Uganda. Jackeline Arinaitwe a resident of Katoroki Village in the Rubirizi district succumbed to high blood pressure and her body was taken to Mulago Hospital.

She is now among the past many pilgrims that have been dying while making their way to Namugongo to celebrate Uganda MArytrs Day, 3rd June.

In 2019, four pilgrims from Kenya were knocked down by an overspeeding matatu along Iganga- Tororo highway.

An expecting mother pilgrim, Scovia Moro from Lira Diocese tumbled and died around Matuga in 2017.

Nonetheless, Every year when it’s nearing June, thousands of pilgrims from different parts of Uganda and other East African countries trek long distances to Namugongo to mark and witness the celebration of the Uganda Martyrs that were killed by kabaka Mwanga during the colonial times.

 

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