Amin’s Kinsmen Reconcile With Acholi Over Luwum’s Murder
Former Uganda Peoples Party(UPC) president is consoled by relatives after breaking down at Wii Gweng on Saturday at a prayer event to commemorate the murder of Bishop LoumIt was an emotional moment on Saturday after kinsmen of former President Idi Amin from Koboko District asked for forgiveness from the family of Archbishop Janani Luwum over his murder.
Luwum who was the Archbishop of the Province of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga-Zaire was murdered in 1977 on the orders of former President Idi Amin.
Bishop Loum was a leading voice in criticizing the excesses of Idi Amin’s regime that assumed power in 1971.
He is a national hero in Uganda and Feb 16 is a national public holiday in Uganda.
During the 42nd commemoration prayers held to mark the death of Luwum at Wii Gweng village in Mucwini Sub-county, Kitgum District, Christians from Koboko district said such killing should never happen again.
Rev Canon Stephen Gelenga, the Vicar Kamwokya who led the Koboko team said the impact of Loum’s murder was still being felt 40 years since the toppling of former President Idi Amin.
“As Christians from the Kakwa Community, we said we should put what happened in the past and let it die completely. We sent out an invitation early this year for the [Loum] family and Phoebe Aber Luwum personally visited us in Koboko, our hearts melted when she
came, we were happy,” said Canon Stephen Gelenga.
According to Rev Canon Gelenga, after Mrs. Loum’s visit to Koboko, christians from Koboko visited her at her family home in Wii Gweng were they held prayers together and asked for forgiveness from her on the murder of her husband.
“Mama Luwum forgave us, we slept at her home, we said prayers together, we asked for forgiveness on behalf of the people who sinned. We also want to forgive those who wronged us during the time,” Canon Gelenga said.
Gelenga’s sermon left many close Loum family members in tears including former Uganda People’s Congress(UPC) leader and UN diplomat, Olara Otunnu.
Loum family members, Olara Otunnu and Christians from Kakwa hugged each other in a sign of forgiveness.
Rev Canon Dr Alfred Olwa, the Bishop of Lango Diocese who led the mass said it’s time for Christians to forget the past and concentrate on the future.
“In 2019 we have to think of God, He is speaking to us, He is saying stop dwelling on the past, historians have written about the past but God is saying see me, I am the new thing.. I am your hope, I am the hope of Uganda and our Marty Luwum prophesized this,” noted Canon Olwa.
Olwa lauded Loum for his contribution in the fight against evil.
Retired Kitgum Diocese Bishop Macleod Baker Ochola said the move by the Kakwa community to reconcile and ask for forgiveness was the right course to take.
“After 40 years, the people of Kakwa asked for forgiveness for the killing of Archbishop Janani Luwum, the people of Arua, Koboko and the people of Uganda are witnessing this great miracle happening in Mucwini,” Bishop Ochola said.
President Museveni in a speech read by Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo described Archbishop Luwum as an icon who stood firm on speaking truth to fight injustice.
Minister Mbayo told the gathering that government will come out with a budget to
help support the annual commemoration at Mucwini. Her statement was in response to request made by the Kitgum Diocese Bishop Wilson Kitara who asked if the government can contribute towards the annual celebrations.
Kitgum District Chairperson Jackson Omona followed on a 2017 pledge by the president to build a modern memorial centre at Wii Gweng in memory of Loum.