Proposed improvements to the Namugongo Catholic shrine, such as fancier accommodation and an expanded road network, will be officially announced in a month’s time by a cabinet sub-committee, a government minister has said.
Speaking at the Uganda Media Centre last week, the minister for Information, Rose Namayanja, said the committee would guide technical teams to ensure facilities are appropriately improved.
“We have given the committee only one month to come up with a report that has to be brought back to cabinet,” Namayanja said.
“It is this report that will help us come up with a specific figure of the funds to allocate to this project,” she said.
She said all infrastructural improvements at the shrine would be undertaken under an inter-agency arrangement, with close cabinet supervision. At the launch of the Namugongo shrine fundraiser last month at Serena hotel, President Museveni said government decided to upgrade the shrine to a worship and tourism site of global repute.
He contributed Shs 400m to a refurbishment projected to cost Shs 36bn. Namayanja said the narrow and often congested road network to and around the shrine would be upgraded and expanded. The buildings and sanitation at the shrine will be refurbished, while security systems are to be enhanced.
Currently, the place lacks an aura of sacredness other holy places, say in Israel, have. The shrine has no shelter for pilgrims, especially on June 3, Martyrs day. The platform at the Martyrs’ lake needs to be raised, and the sound system needs improvement while people who sit far need giant screens to follow events.
The new committee is headed by the minister for General Duties in the OPM, Prof Tarsis Kabwegyere. Other committee members include Tourism Minister Maria Mutagamba, Internal Affairs Minister Aronda Nyakayirima, Works Minister Abraham Byandala, Water and Environment Minister Ephraim Kamuntu and Lands minister Daudi Migereko.
Also on the list is Energy Minister Irene Muloni, Health Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka and National Planning Authority Chairperson Kisamba Mugerwa. June 3 is a public holiday to commemorate dozens of Christians killed by King Mwanga in the 1880s.
Source : The Observer