More than 700 Kenyan pilgrims expected in Namugongo

More than 700 Kenyan pilgrims expected in Namugongo

At least 700 pilgrims from Kenya are expected to join the rest of the world to mark Martyrs’ Day celebrations in Namugongo on June 3.

Alexander Wejuli, Christian leader of St Jude Catholic Church in Busia-Kenya, said the first group of 27 pilgrims arrived in Uganda across the Busia border on Tuesday and more are expected.

“We have 27 pilgrims who are from the Bungoma diocese in western Kenya, but we are expecting another 40 from the Kisumu diocese and more from the Nakuru diocese,” Wejuli said on Tuesday.

He said walking pilgrims from various groups number about 300, but another 400 are expected to travel by bus.

The first group of pilgrims on foot left Busia town for Namugongo on Tuesday morning after spending the night at St Jude’s Church. They hope to be in Namugongo on May 31.

Before leaving, the pilgrims performed morning prayer and had breakfast, after which the Busia District Traffic Officer, Mr. Alex Asiimwe, explained road safety tips to them.

Asiimwe told the pilgrims to keep to the right as they walked so that they could see the approaching vehicles.

The group of Bungoma pilgrims are among the Kenyan pilgrims who suffered a fatal accident after a taxi rammed into them, killing three instantly and injuring several others, who were taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Asiimwe, who accompanied the pilgrims as they began their journey from Busia to Namugongo, said the traffic message is to ensure that visitors are safe on Ugandan roads.

He said: “I have been told that some Kenyan pilgrims, on two separate occasions, have been beaten and we do not want this to happen.”

John Ndubi, who heads the group, lamented the heavy rains which he said have disrupted their trekking plans.

Simon Makokha, another pilgrim, said he was walking towards Namugongo to pray for his families back home.