According to Msgr. John Baptist Kauta, chairman of National organizing committee of the celebrations, the ban is intended to control acts of hooliganism that have in the past tainted the purpose of the Martyrs’ Day
The general organizers of this year's Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations, has banned the sale of foods and alcoholic drinks in the precincts of the shrine most especially during the holy mass.
According to Msgr. John Baptist Kauta, chairman of National organizing committee of the celebrations, the ban is intended to control acts of hooliganism that have in the past tainted the purpose of the Martyrs’ Day and; to a large extent adversely interrupted and diverted the pilgrims from concentrating on the eucharistic process and other holy activities.
“The Uganda Martyrs Day that falls on June 3 of every year is a great day in the Catholic Church and it should be held as a holy day that draws people from all walks of life from most of the continents of the globe that makes it a special of day of worship to our God. So, for that it is of paramount importance that no one should turn it into an ordinary day for selling eats during mass,” the Msgr Kauta, advised them during a meeting to quote catholic church canon law.
“We have organised places where selected people will be while selling foods and drinking, but not everywhere. And no vendors will be allowed to move with eats at the shrine premises most especially during the Holy Mass,” Msgr Kauta.
The committee assured the pilgrims, who would want to travel to the place much earlier that they are working hard to ensure that the whole place is illuminated most of the time during the night to keep at bay the bad people who would want to take advantage of darkness for their own selfish gains and other sinister motives.
During the meeting held at Uganda Martyrs Shrine, Namugongo, the members further expressed concern of the diversionary and destructive acts in the past, caused by food and alcohol vendors, who have always congested turned the whole premises into an open food vendors’ place and beer bars.
The joint committee meeting was attended by members of the Pastoral and Liturgy, Transport and Protocol, Information and Publicity, Catering and Welfare, Choir, Accommodation, Construction, Decoration & Maintenance, Finance, Security, Pilgrims, Medical, and Ushering meetings.
Dr Emmanuel Kiiza Aliba, the overall chairman for the preparatory committees, assured the pilgrims of the tight security that has been put all over the premises.
He said that intense work was already in high gear to ensure that transmission system are in place before the D-Day to see that all pilgrims in all corners of the shrine would be able to watch and intently follow the main activities at the altar. We guarantee the best Choir and liturgical celebration on that day.” said.
He said that they wanted to make the Uganda Martyrs Shrine at Namugongo a transformed place this year from the nasty scenarios of drunkenness and all sort of hooliganism that have over the past the years culminated in turning the whole place a different one from being a place of holy pilgrimage and worship.
Dr Dan Kyamanya in-charge of medical committee assured the committee that medical facility that will be in designated at the venue a three days before the actual celebration.
However Fr Jude Ssemmambo, in charge of publicity, said that as the number of pilgrims to the Uganda Martyrs Shrines increase every year, naturally they expect a larger number of them from all walks of life to make it from abroad and the neighboring countries including Tanzania, Rwanda, Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere from the continent.
He said that reliable information filtering in from many parts of the country revealed that some pilgrims that intended to make it on foot to Namugongo Shrines, had already started their journeys from Arua, Gulu, Nebbi, Masaka, Kasese, Soroti and many from Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda among other places