Uganda Police has announced that only 200 people will be allowed to physically attend the Uganda Martyrs day celebrations at Namugongo Shrine, slated for 3rd June 2021.
This, according to police is intended to enforce the Standard Operating Procedures set by the Ministry of Health to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The development comes at a time as the country faces a second wave of Coronavirus coupled with imported deadly variants.
According to Police Spokesperson, CP Fred Enanga, the 57th Martyrs day celebrations will thus be conducted in a scientific manner and will only be attended by the invitees.
Police has also advised all pilgrims and other faith based tourists to instead follow the celebrations on media platforms.
“Therefore, we would like to remind the thousands of pilgrims and other faith based tourists from upcountry, as well as from the immediate neighbouring countries of the DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Burundi, not to trek the long distance, but to instead follow the religious celebrations on TV, Radio and other digital platforms”- CP Enanga said.
Enanga encouraged the invitees to cooperate with the requests of security teams in and around the venues, especially when getting through the check and search points.
“Even if the celebrations are low key, and with no specific threats directed towards the scientific religious festivity, the Joint Security Teams have secured the event with a mix of overt, covert and surveillance teams, deployed in and around the venue”- Enanga said.
For years, thousands of pilgrims and faith based tourists from different corners of the world have been taking long treks to Namugongo to celebrate the 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity who were killed on orders of then Buganda king, Mwanga II between 1885 and 1887.
However, for the second year running, the celebrations have been restricted to few invited people to avoid the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.