"Being a Member of Parliament is not the greatest thing, but instead one's relationship with God is."
PIC: MPs Barnabas Tinkasimire (3rd from left) and Pius Atwooki Rujumba (2nd from right) pose for a photo with other foot pilgrims from Hoima at a stop-over point. (Credit: Sarah Kisakye)
Just like the Uganda Martyrs who gave up their lives for their faith in God, Buyaga West MP Barnabas Tinkasimire and Bugahya MP Pius Atwooki Rujumba ventured on a trek to Namugongo from Hoima diocese, in prayer for better conduct in parliament.
Tinkasimire said the 10th parliament has to make several constitutional amendments, which will test the integrity of legislators, something that compelled him to walk to Namugongo to pray for integrity of MPs.
While some may see such a move as an impractical method of addressing the issue of corruption in parliament, there certainly is a need to find a solution to graft in the country at large.
According to a survey by the global corruption perception index, corruption in Uganda has been getting worse.
Uganda was ranked in 127th position in 2010, 143 in 2011, 130 in 2012, 140 in 2013 and 142 in 2014.
MP Rujumba's reason to walk to Namugongo is for God to address the issue of land grabbing, which hurts the lay man. He faults investors for leaving out the local Bunyoro people in oil deals.
Recent discoveries saw Bunyoro exposed as an oil-rich area in the Albertine region, where the areas the two MPs represent are found.
Aside from walking for the August house, the two MPs have their own personal needs which they want to place before God.
"Being a Member of Parliament is not the greatest thing, but instead one's relationship with God is," said Tinkasimire.
They set off from Hoima Catholic diocese to walk to Namugongo Catholic Shrines along with some 1500 foot pilgrims.
The group set off on Friday (May 26), after being flagged off at St. Cyprian town parish. They hope to reach Namugongo nearly a week after on Thursday (June 1).
The team made a first stop-over on Friday night at Bukwiri which is approximately 45km from Hoima.
On Saturday, they camped at St. Mary's Lwamagali Primary School before trekking another approximately 26 kilometer walk from Lwamagali, to Kiboga.
Father Tumuhimbise Deogratius, team leader for Hoima Diocese, confirmed more stop-off points for the team at Lwamata trading centre, Bukomero Prison grounds, Busunju, Kakiri sub county headquarters, and the last stop over at St. Joseph's Bandana Catholic Parish before reaching Namugongo Catholic Shrines.
The pilgrims walking from Hoima are divided into three clusters: Masindi Vicariate, Kibale Vicariate and Hoima Vicariate.
(Photos by Sarah Kisakye)
Water break along the way