Police have described as successful, this year’s martyrs day celebrations held at Namugongo.
Addressing journalists on Monday, police spokesperson, Fred Enanga hailed the role played by the joint security agencies in securing the celebrations where over three million pilgrims gathered.
“The celebrations from a security point of view were peaceful, safe and secure. Over three million pilgrims from within the country, neghbouring countries and African countries including Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi, Cameroon, DRC, Nigeria and Malawi among others attended. There were also pilgrims from South Africa, USA and Europe who came to renew their faith,” Enanga said.
He said that the joint security agencies managed to successfully secure the celebrations amid threats both from within and from outside the country.
According to Enanga, such events which attract mammoth crowds always attract people from all walks of life including terrorists who would want to take advantage to cause mayhem but said Ugandan security agencies managed to keep any threat at bay.
“We thank the joint security agencies for collaborating to ensure the celebrations ended without any major incidents.”
199 cases reported
Nevertheless, the police spokesperson said 199 cases were registered in seven days between May 28 and June 4 when they deployed at Namugongo.
He said 130 cases of phone theft, 62 other cases of theft and seven other offences were reported to police in Namugongo whereas 45 children were recovered after straying away from their parents.
“As of yesterday, Sunday evening, 22 pilgrims were still stranded at Namugongo. We are working with transport providers to see how we can help them return home,” Enanga said.
The Uganda Martyrs day is held every June, 3 to celebrate the 23 Anglican and 22 Catholic converts to Christianity were killed on orders of then Buganda king, Mwanga II between 1885 and 1887.
The day has since grown into a religious tourism event which draws pilgrims from several parts of the world who gather at Namugongo.