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Uganda Anglican Church seeks support to build martyrs museum

Posted on: July 24, 2014 4:52 PM
On 3 June 1886, thirty-two young men, pages of the court of King Mwanga II of Buganda, were burned to death at Namugongo for their refusal to renounce Christianity.
Related Categories: Uganda

By Bellah Zulu, ACNS

The Anglican Church in Uganda has begun initial preparations to construct a museum at the Uganda Martyrs Heritage Centre in Namugongo, a township in Central Uganda.

The Chairman of the Project, the Archbishop Emeritus of Uganda, Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, made the announcement in a recent letter to supporters and friends.

“The purpose of the Project is to develop the entire Martyrs Heritage Centre where the first seed of Christianity was sown in Uganda, possibly in East Africa and the whole of Africa during the reign of King Mwanga Basammula 11,” he said.

According to the Project Chairman, the proposed museum is based on the need to provide “empirical information on the Uganda martyrs with the construction of a one-stop centre in which information can be obtain on issues related to the martyrs.”

The project, which is estimated at about US$14 million, is intended to create a “national and international tourist centre giving honour to the brave men who were killed and also depicting the rich religious and cultural values of Uganda.”

Considering the large sums of money required to complete this project, the Archbishop Emeritus said the construction would be carried out in “justifiable phases so as not to fatigue the willing contributors.”

He explained: “Work will begin with the core site where the main killing...of the martyrs took place. This will include a big shelter estimated at 2 billion Uganda Shillings (approx. USD 800,000) which will house the command post of the Chief Executioner of the prison where the convicts were kept for some time before they were finally killed.”

He said that the shelter will also house the fire wood spot where dry fire wood was kept in readiness to burn the convicts and the tree to which the convicts were tied and had their bodies dismembered.

“The facility will also have the burning spot where the convicts were burnt to death and the Martyrs Memorial Church where the remains of the martyrs are kept,” he explained.

The second phase of the ambitious project will include the construction of a three-storey building to accommodate offices, religious and cultural artifacts, a resource centre and a library.

“The third phase of the project will cover other items like a children’s recreation centre, a 100-room self-contained guest house, a multipurpose recreation ground, a perimeter wall for security,” said the Archbishop Emeritus Nkoyoyo.

“We will also do some work on the Uganda martyrs well and a facility for bottling the water, as well as doing improvements on the worship site where the Martyrs Day services and are conducted.”

The Abp Emeritus Nkoyoyo and the rest of the development committee has the support of the current Archbishop of the Anglican Church in Uganda, the Most Revd Stanley Ntagali  and other Christians there.

He has since called on Christians world over and other well-wishers to help in whatever way possible in the realisation of this ambitious project which will help “invigorate the conservation and appreciation of Uganda religious heritage among all ages.”


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