Luwero Security Committee Issues Guidelines Ahead of Annual Pilgrimage to ‘Holy Hill’

The Luwero District Security Committee has issued guidelines for pilgrims to Walusi Hill in a move to curb crimes and disease outbreaks.

Every day, at least 50-100 people flock Walusi hill in Kikyusa Sub County in Luwero District to worship gods. Walusi hill is considered a ‘holy hill’ and while at the hill, the people use springs for ritual bathing for the purposes of purifying the bodies and washing away all the bad omens.

Every 1st January, over 1,000 people from across the Country make an annual pilgrimage to the hill to thank the gods for completing the year and ask for their blessing in the new year.

However, the Luwero district security committee and sub-county leadership have expressed both security and sanitation concerns.

Richard Bwabye Ntulume the Luwero Resident District Commissioner says that the hill has become a hub of crimes and may also expose pilgrims to disease outbreaks over lack of sanitary facilities.

Bwabye says that as result they have directed that all pilgrims who visit the hill either on daily basis or annually must be registered and their National Identification Numbers captured for follow-up in case of an incident.

Bwabye added that the sub-county health inspector has also been directed to ensure that the place has enough toilet facilities and that COVID-19/Ebola prevention guidelines are adhered to.

He adds that an enforcement committee has been formed and it will work with Police to ensure that all guidelines including those passed by the sub-county are adhered to for purposes of regulating the activities of pilgrims.

Nulu Kijjambu, the LCIII Chairperson of Kikyusa Sub County explains hundreds of people have been gathering at the hill but there were no records of any pilgrim making it difficult to trace any suspect even if a crime is committed.

“Now with the intervention of the District Security Committee, we shall be able to restore order and oversee what happens there for purpose of maintaining peace in the area,’’ Kijjambu said.

Mutyaba Muwanga the Chairperson of Mutyaba Muwanga, the Chairperson of Uganda Neddagala Lyayo Luweero Branch says that they will meet before the end of this week to discuss how to implement the guidelines.

“As local traditional healers, we were also concerned over the influx of people who conduct rituals there without our knowledge. We are going to elect a committee to work with area Police and Sub-county leaders to ensure the measures are put in place for safety as well as sanitary purposes,” Mutyaba said.

In June security personnel raided Walusi hill where they removed over 70 Muslim converts.

The group that was initially involved in traditional worship at the hill was found living in a cave, tents, and huts. Police transported them to their homes in Kayunga, Luwero, and Buyende districts among others.

Security personnel accused the converts of using the hill to undergo Islamic radicalism and leaving in a place without adequate sanitary facilities.

Since then the hill is under close watch by Security Personnel over fears that wrong elements may use it to launch attacks on the community.

According to Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board, Walusi hill is a spiritual home of the Traditional African Religion in Uganda and is the “Holy Land” of Bulemeezi County.   

The ‘holy hill’ has 97 springs in its forest and is famous for its ancestral fireplaces which are significant in the traditional rituals of connecting with gods at night.

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