By: Ismael Kasooha


President Yoweri Museveni has said that the spirit of sacrifice and self-denial is important for propelling individual and National Development.

“I urge all the people of Uganda to emulate the spirit of sacrifice from the Uganda Martyrs to keep our Country on the path of stability, prosperity and godliness,” said the president.

The President’s message was contained in a message delivered by the Prime Minister of Uganda Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja during the 3rd of June, Martyrs’ Day commemorations at Namugongo Catholic Shrine in Wakiso District.

The president joined the Pilgrims and all believers who congregated at Namugongo to honor the sacrifice and faith of the Uganda Martyrs.

Every 3rd of June, thousands of Pilgrims gather in Namugongo to celebrate the courage of the Uganda Martyrs, whose faith was not shaken by Kabaka Mwanga’s persecution of Christians.

Museveni said “It is on account of their courageous example that the seed of Christianity was firmly planted in Uganda and beyond.”

The Prime Minister . Nabbanja Robinah, in a Yellow Gomesi poses for a photo with the clergy and other government dignitaries at Namugongo

The president extended a warm welcome to the Pilgrims who travelled from outside the Country to observe the Uganda Martyrs Day with their Ugandan brothers and sisters.

Museveni condemned acts of reckless driving by motorists that resulted in the loss of lives of some pilgrims.

“I want to register my regret concerning the incident of reckless driving at the Kamuli roundabout, which inflicted injuries to some of the ‘Balamazi’ from Busowa Catholic Parish, Bugiri District. I caution motorists and boda boda riders to drive carefully and respect the Balamazi and other pedestrians on the road,” said the president.

The president was happy to note that several groups of Pilgrims trekked to Namugongo, from all parts of Uganda and beyond.

“This holy pilgrimage is possible on account of the prevailing conditions of peace and stability in Uganda. Peace and stability are important because they create an atmosphere where people can freely exercise their rights and pursue their legitimate interests,” the statement read in part.

Museveni quoted the Bible as it is written in Matthew, chapter 5, verse 9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

He said that Uganda is reaping peace dividends in the form of rapid economic growth and development i.e. the tarmacked roads, electricity, schools, hospitals etc.

A section of Nigerian Pilgrims attending the Martyrs’ day celebrations at Namugongo

The President, however ,said that in order for development to be meaningful, it must be translated into jobs and wealth for the households.

He gave the example of a good tarmac road becoming meaningful to a household, if used to transport farm produce e.g. crops, milk etc. to the market.

“The road is a public good; it belongs to everyone. However, the incomes generated from the sale of your farm produce belong to the individual or family. Therefore, it is important for all households to join the wealth creation campaign in order to guarantee prosperity,” Museveni said.

The president told the congregation that the NRM government was mobilizing the remaining 39% of the Ugandan households that were still trapped in subsistence farming i.e. working only for food, to join the money economy.

“Subsistence farming fosters poverty because besides food, there are other human needs that must be satisfied, such as: shelter, medicine, clothes, education, transport etc. These can only be obtained with money; you cannot maintain a status of moneylessness in a modern economy,” he said.

The president noted that the Parish Development Model (PDM) and the wealth creation funds were aimed at increasing the number of wealth creators engaged in production in the four sectors of: commercial agriculture, industries, services and ICT.

“I appeal to all the believers to work hard and embrace the ongoing wealth creation campaign. It is about liberating everyone from the oppression of poverty and socio-backwardness. God commanded man to tame the earth for his own benefit and survival,” he said.

Museveni Quoted the bible in Genesis, chapter 1, verse 28: “…God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

The Prime Minister receiving the Holy Communion during the Martyrs’ Day celebrations at Namugongo

He said that the above scripture shows that man was mandated to be a master of his environment by understanding and utilizing the laws of nature to serve his interests.

For example, “we get food from the soil; we get medicine from plants etc. This is what is meant by establishing dominion over nature.   Therefore, in order to qualify as good stewards of the earth, everyone must play their role in taming nature to produce a good or a service that society needs,” said the president.

The Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese Rt. Rev. Paul Ssemogerere expressed concern on the increase of murders in the country by the use of the guns and asked the government to ensure peace prevails in society.

The commemorations were graced by the former vice president of Uganda H.E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Ministers, Members of Parliament, pilgrims from within Uganda and outside from as far as Nigeria among others.