By Joyce Namutebi
Born-Again Christians converged at Mandela National Stadium Namboole, along Jinja Road, for the Passover Festival ushering in the New Year with special prayers for Uganda and the people.
Gates opened as early as 7am on Monday for the day's activities which included donation of blood and collection of household items to be distributed to prisons.
People travelled from various parts of the country to attend the annual prayers whose convener is the Senior Pastor Victory Christian Centre, Dr. Joseph Serwadda, who is also the Presiding Apostle of the Born Again Fait. Some were seen walking to the venue due to a hike in transport fares by some taxi operators.
There were long queues as people waited to be let inside the stadium. People were seen struggling to enter the tightly manned gates.
This was the eleventh time that people were gathering at Namboole for the Passover Festival.
Serwadda said that about 25,000 units of blood were collected in addition to one and a half tones of household items. The household items, he said, would be taken to the prisons after being sorted out.
He condemned the practice of begging for aid, which aid he said, comes with stringent conditionality which the country cannot meet. He fervently prayed to God to make Uganda a fruitful and self-sufficient nation that will not bow to pressures of the western world.
"We do not want to depend on foreign aid which comes with conditionality which we cannot fulfill," Serwadda prayed as the Christians chorused "Amen."
The Christians marked the New Year with fireworks. Some knelt and prayed while others danced and hugged each other as it clocked midnight. Many, including pastors, were heard praying in tongues.
Serwadda prophesied that 2013 is going to be a year when the righteous good people will be separated from the evil ones.