Locals Yet to Tap Into Tourism Opportunities at Luwum Burial Site

6317 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
Luwum, the then Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire, was murdered on February 16, 1977 in Kampala and is buried at his ancestral home in Wii Gweng Village, in Mucwini Sub County in Kitgum district. Killed together with the Archbishop were two government ministers, Charles Oboth Ofumbi for Internal Affairs and Lt. Col. Erinayo Oryema for Culture.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) Steven Asiimwe has blamed the attitude of local communities for their failure to invest in recreational facilities at the burial site of the late Archbishop Janani Luwum.

Today marks 40 years since the archbishop was murdered on the orders of President Idi Amin Dada, after he was suspected of plotting to overthrow the government. 

Luwum, the then Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire, was murdered on February 16, 1977 in Kampala and is buried at his ancestral home in Wii Gweng Village, in Mucwini Sub County in Kitgum district. Killed together with the Archbishop were two government ministers, Charles Oboth Ofumbi for Internal Affairs and Lt. Col. Erinayo Oryema for Culture. 

Last year UTB declared the burial site of Janani Luwum a national tourism site and called on the local community to own the investments in the area. 

Speaking to URN, Asiimwe says since they gazetted the area as a tourist site, the locals have failed to harness the opportunity to tap into the business opportunities that the annual pilgrimage to the site comes with. UTB is planning a training for the private sector in the region on seizing the opportunity of the event. 

//Cue in: "What I see…
Cue out:…in the region."//

He adds that the locals are capable of turning the area into a multi-million tourist attraction like the Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, if they are well guided to invest in descent and simple recreational facilities including lodges and restaurants among others. 

The burial site is located 24 kilometres away from Kitgum town. The area is also blessed with a blue water stream at Aringa that traces back to the Agoro hills in Lamwo, neighbouring Kidepo National Park and former Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) distress camps that can be turned into world class tourism destinations among others. 

Geoffrey Oguti, the councillor Mucwini Sub-county, says they have suspended the construction of recreational activities in the area to allow for the planning of the area by the Province of the Church of Uganda. 

//Cue in: "The UTB took...
Cue out: …on the ground."//

Starting next year the Diocese of Kitgum and in particular St. Paul's Mucwini Parish that will be renamed after the former archbishop will spearhead the approvals for suitable recreational facilities. 

 

About the author

Annet Lekuru
Annet Lekuru is the Uganda Radio Network bureau chief for Arua. She is new in this post, assigned August 2016. However, she is no stranger to URN subcribers and readers.

Lekuru started her journalism career in 2011 with training from Radio Paris where she worked until April 2015. She started writing for URN in May 2015 as a freelance reporter.

Lekuru loves and continues to admire URN because of the reporter privilege to identify and report on issues close to one's heart which offers an opportunity to the reporter to develop a passion in a beat and report on it exhaustively.

With a background training in Conflict Sensitive Journalism she hopes to graduate into doing remarkable and recognised human rights and human interest stories in the near future.

She is interested in reporting on issues of justice, law, human rights and health.