Luwum’s Death Fueled Our Resolve to Fight for Justice, Liberation of Uganda – Otafiire


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The Minister of Internal Affairs, Rt.Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, while speaking at Janani Luwum Day, described the death of Luwum as the empowerment that fueled their zeal to fight for justice and the liberation of the country from Idi Amin’s governance.

As Uganda remembers St. Janani’s legacy at Mucwini in Kitigum district on February 16, 2024, Otafiire noted that the late Archbishop Luwum decided to fight for the oppressed, which spurred the war for liberation.


“I was already a member of the FRONASA when I heard of the death of Archbishop Luwumu, and rather than discouraging us, it filled our resolve to fight for justice for the liberation of our country,” Otafiire said.

Otafiire called upon leaders to promote togetherness and not division on the level of tribes and religion, as St. Luwum did.

“That’s what gives me resentment when I see leaders engaged in reckless behaviour. Leaders’s words divide us rather than unite us. Let’s use our religious differences to give glory to God. In our diversity, we should struggle to create a strong, united, and prosperous Uganda,” he urged.

Janani Jakaliya Luwum was the Archbishop of the Church of Uganda from 1974 to 1977 and one of the most influential leaders of the modern church in Africa. He was arrested in February 1977 and died shortly after under President Idi Ami’s leadership.

The Chief Justice of Uganda, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, who represented the Chief Guest, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, called for reconciliation among the people of Northern Uganda.

“Nobody owns this country more than you. It doesn’t matter whether they are generals, judicial officers, or the richest person in Uganda. This is our country. We must reconcile with West Nile. There is no attribute better than acknowledging you are wrong and apologising for it. The greatest attribute of that is to say, ‘I forgive you wholeheartedly,” he stated.

Janani Luwum Day is celebrated every year on February 16th in honour of his courage and martyrdom, whose murder was one of the lowest moments in our country’s history.

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Stephen Kaziimba Mugalu, has appreciated support from the government and pilgrims who walked to honour the event.

“This year’s event has attracted more people, pilgrims, and support. We appreciate the foot pilgrims from various places. We appreciate the security organs that have also supported this event to its conclusion. This is how we can promote the legacy of Archbishop Janani Luwum,” Mugalu said.

Archbishop Mugalu further requested that the government reconsider opening Canon Lawrence Primary Teachers College and be lifted to suit the required education standards, which were Janani Luwum’s School.

Present at the celebrations were the Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, Hilary Onen; the Minister of Northern Uganda, Grace Kwiyucwiny; and the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gulu, John Baptist Odama.

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