By Our Reporter
In a significant move to preserve the cultural and religious heritage of Kyenjojo District, the Ugandan government has committed to revitalizing the St Adolf Tibeyalirwa Shrine in Katoosa. The announcement, made by Tom R. Butime, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities, comes after concerns were raised about the deteriorating state of the site hindering its potential as a tourist destination.
A budget of Shs1.5 billion has been earmarked in the upcoming financial year to initiate the renovation works at Katoosa Shrine. Minister Butime outlined key aspects of the facelift, including the construction of a perimeter wall to secure the site, extension of water services, and the installation of an amphitheater to meet international tourism standards.
The decision to refurbish the shrine follows an outcry from the Diocesan leadership regarding the poor condition of the site, particularly its impact on attracting international tourists. The government’s commitment underscores its dedication to preserving cultural and religious landmarks for future generations.
The revelation was made during the holy pilgrimage celebrations on January 27 at Katoosa Shrine-Kyenjojo in Fort Portal Diocese. The event saw the presence of Judith Nabakooba, Minister for Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, who attended as the Chief guest and pilgrim on behalf of Prime Minister Hon Robinah Nabbanja.
Addressing the faithful, Judith Nabakooba congratulated them on the pilgrimage and urged them to draw inspiration from the Uganda martyrs, particularly St Adolf Ludigo Tibeyalirwa. She emphasized the martyrs’ commitment to their faith and encouraged believers to emulate their steadfastness in the face of adversity.
In her speech, Minister Nabakooba cautioned against land fragmentation, promoting collective land utilization for family businesses. She also echoed the president’s message against illegal fees in government schools, emphasizing the importance of the free education program.
Minister Nabakooba pledged government support to churches, assuring assistance in land registration and trustee matters. She reiterated the government’s commitment to prioritizing proper records for churches within the ministry.
Local leaders, including Rev Fr Venansio Busobozi, the parish priest of Katoosa Catholic Parish, expressed excitement about the government’s pledge. He anticipates that the refurbishment will elevate Katoosa Shrine to a prominent pilgrim’s attraction, enhancing its significance within the diocese and beyond.
The martyr, born in Katoosa Parish, was killed on June 3, 1886, in Namugongo by the Kabaka of Buganda, Mwanga, for his faith. The decision to refurbish Katoosa Shrine aligns with its historical importance, attracting pilgrims not only from Uganda but also from neighboring countries.
With the government’s commitment and community support, the restoration of Katoosa Shrine is poised to transform it into a cultural and religious landmark, preserving its legacy for generations to come.