AFTER about a year of planning, the construction of the 36 billion shilling Uganda Martyrs Museum in Namugongo, intended to preserve the history of the 47 saints of Uganda, has finally started
By John Agaba
AFTER about a year of planning, the construction of the 36 billion shilling Uganda Martyrs Museum in Namugongo, intended to preserve the history of the 47 saints of Uganda, has finally started.
Located at the Anglican Shrine, the museum will include a three-storey building, with 47 pillars, each representing one of the Uganda martyrs and their details.
Yesterday, the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stanley Ntagali, toured the construction site, where construction is underway.
The Archbishop said: “Uganda martyrs inspire us. They inspire Christianity in Uganda and Africa. That is why we want to preserve their history. And make this place () a tourist attraction.”
Mpalanyi-Nkoyoyo, the retired Archbishop of the Church of Uganda and leader of the fundraising committee for the museum’s construction, said the Church was establishing the museum to record the history of the martyrs and the country’s in general.
“With this museum, people will come from other countries to visit and learn about our martyrs,” he said.
He said the ground floor of the building will house all detail concerning the religious heritage of Uganda, including that before the coming of the white man; the first floor, the coming of the Christians; and the second floor, a library with all the facts about religion in Uganda. The third floor will house an ICT lab.
President Yoweri Museveni is expected to visit the site on Sunday where he will lay the museum’s foundation stone.
“The martyrs are our pillars. They were told to denounce their faith. But, instead, chose to die for what they believed in.” Ntagali said.
Ntagali together with counterpart Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the Archbishop of Kampala, launched the construction of the museum on May 28, just days before this year’s martyrs’ day celebrations.
Today, the museum located at the Anglican Shrine, is slowly taking shape. The contractors, Buzibazi Construction Company, have already set the foundation and erected the pillars of the museum.
Ssebagala Ssempala, the director of Buzibazi, said: “We are starting with phase one. This is the core part of the museum. It will include all the equipment Mukajanga (chief executioner) used to kill the martyrs, his hut, and the holocaust and church beneath which the martyrs were buried.”
“We hope to complete phase one in 18 months,” he said.
Ezekiel Luggya Lwasi, the vice chairperson of the museum construction committee, however, said they are still short of money and that the Sunday function will also be a continuation of the fundraising they have been holding for the museum.
“We have collected 285m of the required sh36b. We still need more money. And we call on everyone to contribute what they can,” Luggya Lwasi said.
Kabaka Mwanga killed the 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts after they defied his orders to denounce Christianity from 1885 to 1887.
Martyrs museum construction starts