Kitgum Unveils Portrait of St. Janani Luwum

Kitgum district local government has unveiled the portrait of St. Janani Luwum in the district council hall. The portrait was unveiled during the inaugural memorial lecture in honor of St. Janani Luwum at Kitgum district council hall.

The development follows concerns by the Local Organizing Committee for the 46th anniversary of the saint about his low recognition at home compared to abroad. St. Janani Luwum, a native of Mucwini Sub-County in Kitgum district, was the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga-Zaire from 1974 to 1977. He is considered one of the most influential leaders of the modern Church in Africa.

St. Janani Luwum is among the ten modern martyrs of the 20th century, whose statues have stood above the Abbey’s West Door, since 1998, having been killed for choosing their beliefs over their lives. This concern prompted Kitgum district LC V Chairperson, Christopher Obol Arwai, to table a motion on the matter during a council meeting on Tuesday, which was unanimously seconded by the councilors. 

Kevin Joyce Atim, the LC V Vice-chairperson, said the portrait was unveiled in the district council hall to honor the saint.  

Atim revealed that the municipal authorities have also set February 27th, 2023 for unveiling a portrait of St. Janani Luwum in the Municipal Council Hall. She added that in consultation with the municipal authorities, the district leaders resolved that a statute of St. Janani Luwum will be erected at the main roundabout. 

Canon Gladys Oyat, the chairperson of the Local Organising Committee for the 46th anniversary of St Janani Luwum, noted that the public lecture was aimed at reflecting on the good deeds, leadership, and character of the saint so that it is emulated. Oyat suggested that when strategically used, the public lecture can also help generate funds for developing the Shrine of St. Janani Luwum.    

He is remembered for criticizing the excesses of Idi Amin’s regime, among them the torture of citizens, arbitrary killings, and unexplained disappearances of civilians and soldiers. His open opposition to Amin’s methods led to his killing on February 16, 1977. 

Conducted annually, St. Janani Luwum will be remembered Thursday for the 46th time at Wiigweng in Mucwini in Kitgum district under the theme “United in Service and Growth”.            

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