Government and the Church have intensified preparations for the Papal visit to Uganda, due in November this year.
The Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda led an entourage composed of the Papal Nuncio to Uganda, the church leadership, Government Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and technical staff involved in the preparations, on a tour of the three shrines where the Pope is expected to visit.
The shrines to be visited by the Pope include Munyonyo Martyrs Shrine, the Anglican and Catholic Shrines in Namugongo.
Government set up a three level committee to prepare for the Papal visit to Uganda.
It is composed of the Apex organ chaired by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Sub-committee chaired by the Minister for General Duties and the National Organizing Committee chaired by the Minister for the Presidency.
In Munyonyo, the Prime Minister was briefed about the progress so far made on the first phase of the construction.
Architect Robert Seremba who is in charge of the site informed the Premier that they considered the African Martyr in designing the shrine.
“Therefore the shrine will take the shape of an African hut,” he said.
Munyonyo Martyrs Shrine includes the places where the first three Ugandans laid down their lives for Christ’s sake and were therefore crowned as Martyrs.
The Prime Minister was informed that all the Martyrs who were killed in Namugongo, started their journey from Munyonyo.
Namugongo was Buganda Kingdom’s designated place for execution.
The Prime also visited the Tomb were St. Andrew Kagwa was buried.
“The construction works at the Shrines started on July 1st this year,” Seremba said.
Later the Prime Minister and his entourage visited the Anglican Shrine at Namugongo.
He was received by the Archbishop Emeritus Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo and was later taken around the construction site.
The Premier was informed that the last three Pope’s who visited Uganda have also visited the Anglican Shrine.
At the Catholic Shrine, the Premier and his entourage were received by Father Vincent Lubega.
He expressed gratitude to the Government for the support towards the development of Namugongo Shrine.
He particularly thanked the President for his support to ensure that the Shrine is developed to International standards.
The Prime Minister later toured the construction work on the Basilica, amp-theatre, the pavilion and the grottoes.
The Premier said that Government was in full support of the initiative started by the church, to ensure that the Shrines are reconstructed to International standards.