Africa tourism

Museveni pledges Shs1b for Martyrs’ Day preparations and renovation of Fort Portal Cathedral

President Museveni met on Wednesday afternoon and held talks with Kabarole leaders who are also part of the committee organizing this year’s Martyrs’ Day celebrations and pledged one billion shillings of support and renovation of the Cathedral of Fort Portal.
The delegation which met the President at his country house in Rwakitura, Kiruhura District, was led by the Minister of Tourism, Tom Butime and the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Portal, Rt. Robert Muhirwa.
“I will give you 1 billion shillings for both, that is the roof of the cathedral and the preparations for Martyrs’ Day,” Mr Museveni said.

The Episcopal Conference of Uganda has chosen the Diocese of Fort Portal to lead the preparations for this year’s Martyrs’ Day scheduled for June 3, 2022.
The diocese last held Martyrs celebrations 25 years ago.
Bishop Muhiirwa said the diocese has worked out an operating budget of about 1 billion shillings to prepare for the celebrations.

“In accordance with custom, the celebration of this noble event is preceded by numerous preparations with spiritual and material mobilization,” he said.
The other relevant issue he raised during the meeting with the president was the roof of the cathedral, which he said needs renovation.
The diocese has a budget of around 2 billion shillings to renovate the roof of the cathedral, but diocesan authorities said they first halted fundraising for the roof and embarked on the raising funds for the celebration of Martyrs Day.
“While the whole community has mobilized to support this campaign, the 2 billion shillings needed to renovate the roof cannot be raised easily, with the current effects of the pandemic,” Bishop Muhiirwa said.

The Bishop commended the President and the Government for the wonderful programs aimed at helping Ugandans improve their household incomes such as the Emyooga program and the Parish Development Model (PDM).
“Mr. President, the Emyooga program which is ongoing as well as the parochial development model which was launched this year in February are so crucial in stopping and reversing the trend of poverty and in helping Uganda to become a united society. , caring and democratic to make basic needs affordable,” Bishop Muhiirwa said.

Mr. Butime said that the Catholic and Protestant shrines in Namugongo are major tourist sites that need support and promotion to be able to attract local, regional and international tourists.
According to the minister, shrines have the potential to rival holy places like the Vatican and Mecca, if well supported and promoted.
The President also addressed their concern to enable them to grow more tea and coffee in the area, he promised to buy three tractors and a truck for them so that they can mobilize people to enter the cash economy .

“The tractors, I’ll give you three and a truck. Please now focus more on mobilizing your people to move from subsistence farming to modern means of wealth creation,” the President said.
The meeting was attended by Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Tom Butime, MP for Fort Portal Central Division, Hon. Alex Ruhunda and Monsignor Isaiah Mayombo among others.