Parliamentarian lobbies for listing Mamre prayer palace as national tourist site

Parliamentarian lobbies for listing Mamre prayer palace as national tourist site
Bishop Jacinto Kibuuka

By Kitts Mabonga

Members of parliament and clergy are lobbying the government to consider expanding the national tourism heritage potential by adding new sites to boost incomes into the government coffers.

The development came to light during the commemoration of the 60th national martyr’s day animated mass at the Mamre prayer palace Namugongo Wakiso district under the theme ‘fear not, for am with you’ [Isaiah 40;10].

The event was hosted by the charismatic ecumenical church of Uganda [CECU] which brought together over a dozen Bishops and Pilgrims drawn from Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Kenya Tanzania, D R Congo and Uganda respectively.

The CECU chairperson Bishop Jacinto Kibuuka told the large congregation that their church is blessed with several tourist attraction sites given its proximity with the Anglican Church of Uganda where most martyrs were killed in cold blood therefore the need for its recognition as a potential tourism site.

‘As a church which is strategically located in the proximity of the nearby Anglican church of Uganda where most martyrs were killed at Nakiyanja, we pray that the government moves forward to recognize this facility located at Janda which is home to a key potential tourist attraction’ noted Kibuuka.

In reaction to the remarks, the Elgon North county MP in Bulambuli district Gerald Nangoli said he would take up the matter with the parliamentary tourism select committee to ensure that a technical team is sent to study the potential of this place as demanded by policy so that it can be formerly designated as a tourist site.

He pointed out the Mamre church location is very adjacent to the Anglican church martyrs site and all efforts need to be reached such that as international tourists who visit the nearby Anglican church Museum and martyrs shrine can as well cross over to this area and effectively raise revenue for the government’ noted Nangoli.

The visiting delegation of Bishops under CECU led by Bishop Hannington Bahemuka who is the body vice chairperson on behalf of the team thanked president Museveni for granting worship freedoms which gesture has led to the steady growth and expansion of their church Network.

“we wish to thank and appreciate the president of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for deliberately opening up the worship environment which has created an opportunity resulting in the spreading of the spiritual nourishment programs to the Christian citizens of the East African community and beyond’ observed Bishop Bahemuka.

The former minister and senior Luwero triangle bush war hero and veteran Alhajji Abdu Naduuli said despite being a Muslim, he strongly supports all religions which have strategic programs that lead to the empowerment of its flock in fighting poverty as well as preaching positive messages of hope and transformation.

‘Many people may wonder why a Muslim like me is standing out together with hundreds of Christians and distinguished Bishops drawn from several countries attending a purely historical Christian function but my answer is that God created and loves all mankind irrespective of religious affiliation once you follow the right teachings’ he observed.

He recalled how he was instrumental in contributing to the set up and subsequent expansion of the Mamre church Network shortly after being invited by then rebel chief Yoweri Museveni in 1981 which now has been able to reach out to millions of people across the world preaching positive messages of peace, unity in diversity and fighting poor health and poverty among other challenges.

‘I remember having been intercepted on 6/Feb 1981 by the then NRM rebel leader Yoweri Museveni while I was a teacher in Bulemezi Luwero who convinced me to join him in the struggle to liberate the country and I swiftly joined him but two weeks later 20/Feb 1981 I came to this place and contributed towards the formation and set up of this Mamre church alongside the youthful Kibuuka and am happy that the church has grown and expanded to cover many regions of the world’ he noted.

Naduuli urged that people should only embrace religions that have both a mission and purpose of helping to empower its worshippers with messages of both spiritual nourishment in nature and economic empowerment in line with the government development driven agendas.