July 12, 2024
Kampala Daily

Pilgrim Dies on 290km Trek to Namugongo Martyrs’ Day celebrations

At least one pilgrim died after covering more than 290kms en route to Namugongo in Wakiso District for the annual June 3 Martyrs’ Day, authorities have said.

On Thursday, Aswa County lawmaker Simon Peter Wokorach revealed that Ronald Ojok was part of about 250 pilgrims from Northern Uganda before he was pronounced dead in Luwero District.

“On a sad note, we lost a young man who passed away from Janani Luwum Memorial Secondary School, Bombo campus in Bombo, where we had camped for a night. He died at around midday on Monday,” the legislator narrated.

Wokorach explained that Ojok felt unwell as they approached Luwero District, which prompted them to take him to Emus Health Centre II   for medical checkup. He was diagnosed with malaria.

“After receiving the medication, he improved and we came with him up to our camp at Janani Luwum memorial school in Bombo. While at the camp, the condition worsened. He started vomiting and convulsing and passed on a few minutes past midday,” he added.

Wokorach said the medical team from Bombo Hospital rushed to the scene and took the body to the health facility’s mortuary for postmortem.

According to Wokorach, the body was still at the mortuary and expected to be transported to Nwoya District on June 3.

“He was a hero and martyr who died while embracing his faith,” said 65-year-old Gulu pilgrim Aketo Anjuleta.

Tentative funeral plans show Ojok will be buried June 5 in his ancestral Koch-lii Village in Nwoya District.

Over 2.5 million people, most of them trekkers from Uganda and neighbouring East African countries, are expected to grace this year’s Martyr’s Day.

The day is commemorated in memory of 22 Catholic and 23 Anglican converts executed on the orders of Kabaka (King) Mwanga between 1885 and 1887.

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