A Kampala tour and boat cruise have been organised to take place on Friday, 5 May 2017. Interested delegates will be required to register and contribute towards the cost of whatever track they choose to take. Payment can be done at venue. However, interested delegates have to make online booking.
The tour will start at Munyonyo Martyrs Shrine, where King Mwanga took the fateful decision to begin putting Christians to death. The first three martyrs; St. Denis Ssebugwawo, St. Andrew Kaggwa and St. Pontiano Ngondwe, were killed on 26 May 1886. There are three historical sites in this area – the King’s palace/court, St. Andrew Kaggwa’s shrine and Ssebugwawo’s monument. The 16-year old Ssebugwawo was apparently speared by the king himself but was later killed by the chief executioner, Mukajanga.
Munyonyo is also the place where in 1886 Saint Charles Lwanga – leader of Christian community in Uganda, baptized St. Kizito, St. Mbaga, St. Gyavira and St. Muggaga.
The next destination is the Uganda Martyrs Shrine in Namugongo, which is located about 15 km east of Kampala. The dome-shaped church and the related Anglican shrine are the places where more than 20 Catholic and Anglican martyrs were burnt alive on the orders of the Kabaka Mwanga in June 1886.
A church was built in the shape of a hut (akasiisiira) in memory of the martyrs. It stands on 22 copper pillars representing the 22 catholic martyrs. In front of the main entrance to the church, below the altar is the spot where St. Charles Lwanga, who was the leader of the Catholic converts, was burnt on June 3, 1886. The majority of the martyrs were Kabaka’s pages and were sent to death for his fear of losing the throne
The Uganda martyrs were canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964. The Uganda Martyrs Shrine was consecrated by Pope Paul VI on 2 August 1969. This is the spot that draws millions of pilgrims every 3 June.
Consequently, Christians from eastern and central Africa and indeed the world over flock to Namugongo to pay their respects and renew their faith by paying pilgrimage to the martyrs on 3 June of every year.
The delegates will tour the Lubiri; the Buganda King’s official palace/residence, built in 1922. Libiri which sits on 4 square miles is ringed by a six-foot brick wall and has a small airstrip within its walls.
The palace has virtually remained empty since 1966 when the then Prime Minister of Uganda, late Milton Obote ordered a dramatic attack to oust Kabaka Mutesa II, then the President of Uganda. Also found in the Lubiri are the torture chambers of the late Idi Amin, President of the Republic of Uganda between 1971-1979. He constructed an armoury in the Lubiri for ensuring the better storage of the gun powder..
The delegates will the drive through the Royal Mile via the Bulange (the Buganda Parliament Buildings) en-route to the National Mosque.
Then visit the Bahai House of Worship (Temple) in Kisasi, a Kampala suburb. The Bahai House of Worship in Uganda, named as the Mother Temple of Africa, is situated on Kikaya Hill – one of the seven original hills of Kampala and gave it the name “the city of seven hills.” The building was designed by Mason Remy and the green dome is made of fixed mosaic tiles from Italy, the lower roof tiles are from Belgium, and the coloured glass in the wall panels was brought from Germany. Nine massive columns, each two feet in diameter, support the great dome, itself forty-four feet in diameter at its base; while the two roofs are supported by two sets of twenty-seven slightly smaller columns. The overall height is 127 feet. The internal diameter of the building is eighty-four feet and the seating capacity is over 600 people. The inside of the dome is painted a pale blue; the rotunda, into which are set nine enormous windows and fifty-four small windows, all filled with green, amber and pale blue glass, is painted a brilliant white, while the columns and the lower walls are painted a very pale green. All this lends itself to an effect of lightness and airiness which is intensified by the large green and amber glass-filled grilles which stand on either side of the huge mvule doors. It is the only Baha’i Temple in Africa.
From the Bahai Temple, the delegates will head to the African Crafts Village along Buganda Road to give those who want to do some shopping an opportunity to do so.
The delegates will visit Kabaka’s lake. This lake is an incomplete project of Kabaka Mwanga who had a vision of building a canal that would link his palace to Lake Victoria as an ‘escape corridor’. It was dug in the 1880’s and is considered to be the largest excavated lake in Africa.
The next destination is the Saint Mary’s Cathedral Rubaga, commonly referred to as Rubaga Cathedral. This is the parent Cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kampala, the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in Uganda.
The delegates will also visit Namirembe Cathedral, the seat of the Church of Uganda or Anglican faith in Uganda. It is a dome-shaped church, originally built in 1903 by Buganda Kingdom craftsmen as a large grass thatched cathedral, which was struck down by lightning. It was then replaced by the present dome-shaped structure.
The delegates will then visit Makerere University, Uganda’s largest and third oldest higher institution of learning, initially established as a technical school in 1922. In 1963, it became the University of East Africa, offering courses leading to general degrees from the University of London.
The African Crafts Village along Buganda Road is the last stop to give delegates some shopping opportunity.
The boat has a capacity of 70 people. The delegates will enjoy a cruise on Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water body in the world.