The Uganda Martyrs day celebrations for the year 2020 have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a letter dated 29th/04/2020 written to the Cardinal, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, and all the faithful, the Chairman Uganda Episcopal Conference Rt. Rev. Joseph Antony Zziwa the ordinary of Kiyinda-Mityana Diocese announced the cancelation of this year’s annual Martyrs’ day celebration that is always celebrated on 3rd, June of every year.
“You all know how COVID-19 has impacted the lives of billions of people throughout the world. In Uganda, institutions of learning, churches and several businesses and offices have been closed for more than one month. Numerous other ways to prevent the invasive spread of the virus have been put in place by Government and the World Health Organization.
They include frequent hand washing, social distancing, quarantine, and ban on air, water, and road transport. Further Government has put stringent restrictions on public gatherings which have made worship and celebration of Eucharist, Sacraments and other liturgical-pastoral activities impossible.” He said.
In view of the above difficulties and uncertainty, I trust that you understand the situation. In addition, and accept to postpone the Uganda Martyrs day celebrations which were supposed to be held in May and June 2020. The Conference will later come up with another arrangement. He added
In the same letter, he (Rt. Rev. Joseph Antony Zziwa ) acknowledged receipt of the letter from Masaka Diocese that was meant to organize this years celebrations. “ Given that background, Rt. Rev. Serverus Jjumba, the Bishop of the Diocese of Masaka, has officially informed me that his Diocese will not be in a position to organize the 2020 Namugongo Martyrs’ Day celebrations (29th May for Youth and 3rd June 2020 for the rest of the pilgrims).”
And he emphasized that the position of Masaka Diocese should be understood in light of the fact that organizing the celebrations at Namugongo requires frequent meetings involving several people, including the Government’s security agencies.
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Further, it demands unfettered movement of persons participating in the organization of the events. Above all, with the virus still alive in many countries, including Uganda, it is not certain when restrictions on gathering and movements will be lifted. Even if the Government of Uganda were to lift the ban today, there would not be enough time to prepare for the events.” He added.
A story compiled by Frank M
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