The Uganda Episcopal Conference has cancelled this year’s Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations. The annual celebration happens on 3rd June, but following the COVID-19 Pandemic, this year’s event will not happen.
According to a letter written by Rt. Rev. Bishop Joseph Anthony Zziwa the chairman of the Episcopal conference to the Bishops, Cardinal, and Msgr, the decision was communicated by Rt. Rev. Serverus Jjumba the Bishop for Masaka Diocese which was supposed to lead this year’s Martyrs Day celebrations at Namugongo Martyrs Site.
Bishop Jjumba informed the episcopal conference that his Diocese would not be able to organize the events due to the pandemic.
“The position of Masaka Diocese should be understood in light with the fact that organizing the celebration at Namugongo requires frequent meetings involving several people, including government’s security agencies. Further, it demands unfettered movement of persons participating in the organization of the events” Bishop Zziwa says.
Adding that with the virus still alive in many countries Uganda inclusive, it is not certain when restrictions on gathering and movement will be lifted. He also argues that even if the government of Uganda were to lift the ban today, there would not be enough time to prepare for the events.
“In view of the above difficulties and uncertainty, I trust that you understand the situation and accept to postpone the Uganda Martyrs Day which was supposed to be held in May and June 2020. The conference will come up with another arrangement.
On May 29th and 3rd Jude every year, the Catholic Church holds celebrations for Youth and Uganda Martyrs respectively. This is meant to remember the murder of the Ugandan Martyrs by Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda, in Munyonyo and Namugongo.