The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga, has said that government will soon increase funding to redevelop all religious sites as tourism sites.
Hon Kadaga revealed this during a celebration in Mayuge District to commemorate St. Matia Mulumba Day. Matia Mulumba was one of the Uganda Martyrs.
“Government was able to rehabilitate the Uganda Martyrs Shrines in Namugongo for both the Catholics and the Anglicans when Pope Francis came to Uganda last year. It is therefore pertinent that other sites are developed as well, Kadaga said.
She added that the people of Busoga should celebrate St Matia Mulumba because he is a powerful saint.
Hon Kadaga gave instances where she met many people from Nigeria all dressed in Kitengi (a traditional ware) baring the portrait of the saint.
“I was in River State and was supposed to board a plane to Lagos but my flight was delayed because it was over booked by Nigerians coming to Uganda for the Martyrs day celebrations. Most of them were wearing Kitengi with St Matia Mulumba’s Portrait, “she added.
She said that she was amazed that the Saint was also celebrated in Nigeria.
Rt. Hon Kadaga said that other saints in Busoga should also be celebrated and honored. “I want us to celebrate Saints like Gonzaga Gonza who was also a Martyr; there is also Bishop Hannington who was murdered in Kyando,” she said.
Hon Kadaga also requested Bishop Charles Wamika to select calendar days on which people in Busoga should celebrate those Saints. She also gave examples of how people in Acholi managed to celebrate the late Arch Bishop, St. Janan Luwum who is celebrated every 16th February.
“The Acholi people are doing better than us, they have managed to bring Bishop Sentamu of York to come to Uganda and celebrate St. Janan Luwum.”
She added that the Bishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will also visit Uganda to honor the late Janan Luwum.
The Speaker also urged people to utilize the opportunity of these sites in order to earn income from tourism and to improve their livelihoods.
“I am requesting that people invest in these places so that when a person comes here to pray they can find shelter and proper meals to enable them stay longer,” she said.