Pilgrim dies after long walk to Namugongo
Mr. Owoyesigyire, the deputy police spokesperson, said the incident happened on May 30, 2022, at 11:30 a.m. in Namugongo Parish, Kira Municipality, Wakiso District. FILE PHOTO

Police at Kira Division is currently investigating the death of a pilgrim identified as Arinitwe Jack line, 49, a peasant at Katokori Village, Kyanarwa Parish, Katanda Sub-county in Rubirizi District.

The territorial Police at Kira Division are currently investigating the death of a pilgrim identified as Arinitwe Jack line, 49 a peasant at Katokori Village, Kyanarwa Parish, Katanda sub-county in Rubirizi District.

According to Luke Owoyesigyire the deputy police spokesperson, the incident happened on Monday 30th May 2022 at about 11:30 am in Namugongo Parish, Kira Municipality Wakiso District.

Owoyesigyire said the deceased was among the 90 pilgrims who were trekking from west Ankole diocese for the martyrs’ day celebrations slated for Friday 3rd June.

“Her body has been conveyed to the city mortuary Mulago for Postmortem to help establish the exact cause of death,” the deputy police spokesperson said.

“The police would like to convey their condolences to the family of the deceased person and also advise all pilgrims to always rehydrate in a way of taking enough water and also have enough rest during the pilgrimage. May Her Soul Rest in Eternal Peace.”

This however, comes at a time when the police continues to ensure safety and security of pilgrims trekking to Namugongo along various roads ahead of Martyrs’ Day celebrations next month.

Every 3rd June, the popular religious pilgrimage of the Uganda Martyrs at Namugongo, is celebrated. Unlike for the last two years were the event was celebrated virtually due to the Covid19, this year’s event is set to be held openly.

The religious event like before, will openly take place, with thousands of pilgrims, faith-based tourists and well-wishers expected to participate in the event.

Earlier on in a statement imploring officers on their duty to guard the trekking groups, the Inspector General of Police Martin Okoth Ochola said many pilgrims are expected to trek on foot covering long distances from different parts of the country, and from the neighbouring countries of the DRC, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. 

He said it will be the duty of the police to help them, identify habitable places for sleeping, especially at schools, places of worship and community centres, restrict movement under the cover of darkness, and also identify those who cannot endure the journey, for medical attention among others.

Ochola indicated that so far, they have closely policed the movement of pilgrims from Lira Diocese with more teams from West- Nile, Masaka, Fort Portal, Mbarara, Soroti, and Mbale among others also expected.

“We further urge the pilgrims to carry warm clothing, a few basic items, their identification documents, mobile phones, light bags to avoid wasting energy with heavy loads,” Ochola said.

“It is also advisable that team leaders and individual pilgrims reserve transport money on them, since the return journey is usually not by foot. And while in Kampala, we urge the pilgrims and all well-wishers, especially new comers, to be vigilant and cautious while going through the heavy traffic, and to further guard against criminals who target phones and other valuables.”