By: Ismael Kasooha
President Yoweri Museveni has asked Ugandans to transcend barriers and exercise their faith with works and not mere talk.
“Let us therefore exercise our faith with works and not mere talk. That is how we shall be a fruitful nation backed by the word of God,” said President Museveni in a message delivered for him by the Prime Minister of Uganda Rt. Hon. Nabbanja Robinah at the Catholic Shrine in Namugongo.
The president also encouraged all Ugandans to be calm and deliberate with their spending habits as the government continues to find solutions to the current rise in commodity price.
Museveni thanked Fort Portal Diocese and all the people who contributed to the success of this event physically and spiritually for the job well done.
“We thank God who has seen us through the pandemic period where we were unable to gather but today we are able to gather again for prayers for us, our families and for our nation,” said the president.
Museveni said that this is an important event that not only highlights faith in God but also puts Uganda in the spotlight of the entire world.
He said that it is in favour of this that Namugongo Martyrs shrine has been identified as an icon of faith based tourism and this sets it apart from other tourism centres.
“I hail all stakeholders in the fulfilment of government efforts to boost its tourism and economic resource towards development,” the message read in part.
He said that the government has already pledged and contributed to the rehabilitation of the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine into a top tourist destination.
“I therefore thank all the people who have contributed to its rehabilitation and development and encourage people all over the world to participate in touring it for the benefit of our tourism sector,” said Museveni.
The president said that people are here to pray and remember the Uganda Martyrs who died for their faith in God.
“From them our faith in God is built and grounded on his promises of eternal life. We have experienced and testify that when people gather to pray God listens and acts accordingly. I pray that the Almighty God will respond to all our supplications on this day,” said Museveni.
The president was pleased to note that the theme of this celebration was “Baptized to witness Christ with Love and hope”. The Bible, in the book of Mathew 28:19 KJV it is written that ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost’. The president noted that this was part of the great commission of preaching the gospel of Christ that all followers of Christ have been entrusted with.
“It is very deserving at such a time when nations are ravaging in hopelessness due to the setbacks from the pandemic. I beseech all faithful to borrow a leaf from the precedent that was set by the Uganda Martyrs’ hope in Christ to confess and witness him regardless of the circumstances,” said the president.
The president said that it was the hope that believers will build that will enable God’s grace to abound them to overcome the current challenges.
“The situation in the world calls for hope and unity as a people of God, because Unity is power. Let us therefore be witnesses of good cause and repute, working hard to liberate ourselves, households and Nation from poverty,’ said Museveni.
The president welcomes all the visitors from near and far and prays that they convey our greetings to our brothers and sisters in your respective countries.
The Prime Minister before delivering the president’s message ordered for the closure of all music parlors that were making noise amidst prayers which the believers welcomed and said it was long overdue.
“As we were praying here some people were busy playing music in the neighbourhood yet this is a holy place and believers must be given space to pray to their Lord. This kind of nonsense must stop and it will never happen again,” said Nabbanja.
The function was graced by the Speaker of Parliament Annet Among, the Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny Dollo, Ministers, Members of Parliament among other dignitaries.