President Yoweri Museveni has asked religious leaders to spearhead the fight against poverty.
While speaking as the main celebrant at the Catholic shrine, the president said God encourages hard work for development and the leaders should help push the message.
The president also emphasized the need to develop infrastructure like roads and railway.
He pledged that the road to Namugongo will be redeveloped.
President Yoweri Museveni also boasted about the peace that his government has been able to bring about citing the ability by pilgrims to travel from all over on foot, slept in the open with no security problems.
He later crossed over to the Anglican shrine where he gave another address to the believers.
He blamed local leaders for not promoting the site as an international tourism center, pledging to offer financial support to achieve this in the near future.
Still at the Anglican shrine, the main celebrant Bishop Benjamin Nkeshi from Nigeria has urged Ugandans to take advantage of the country’s good climate and grow more food to fight household poverty.
He says other countries are not as privileged as Uganda with much of their populations struggling to get what to eat, urging Uganda to fully utilize its Agricultural resources.
The Bishop of Lira Joseph Fanzelli has asked Christians to emulate the martyrs and be witnesses of God in their lives.
While giving his sermon at Namugongo martyrs shrine Bishop Fanzelli decried the increasing acts of corruption, selfishness and discrimination especially among those in positions of responsibility such as politicians, police officers, and civil servants.
He also prayed to those seeking political leadership in 2016 to have the demands of the electorates at heart instead of fronting their interests.
Several clergymen are in attendance including the Papal Nuncio to Uganda Archbishop Michael Blume, Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala, Gulu Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Mbarara Archbishop Paul Bakyenga, Kampala Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga.
Thousands of pilgrims from various countries have this morning thronged Namugongo shrines to remember the gallant Christian soldiers of Uganda. The annual celebration takes place every 3rd of June.
Story by Herbert Zziwa
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