The Uganda Martyrs Day celebrations may require a supplementary budget away from the initial 1 billion shillings- the chairperson of the organizing committee Father Charles Oyo has said.
Set to take place on June 3rd, the celebrations are to bring together over 3 million people according to Father Charles Oyo, the chair of this year’s martyr’s celebrations from the Fort Portal Diocese said the committee may require more money than the 1 billion which it had initially been estimated.
“There's a lot of work to be done. For example, we have to prepare a choir of over 300 people whose training, transport, and feeding alone will take 270 million shillings. We have to transport different officials, committee members, and some Christians from Fort Portal, to cost 160 million. Then we have to do renovations for the place, repair parts of it such as the lavatories which takes a lot of money," Father Oyo explained.
The Reverend was clearing the air over the 1 billion shillings budget that it sought from the government that had raised eyebrows as some Ugandans wondered what all the money was to be spent on when it doesn't include feeding pilgrims.
He thus gave the insights during an interview with Olive Monica Najjuma, The Brunch Talk Show host on RX Radio.
Father Oyo also articulated that the Public Address System alone will also need 100 million shillings during the celebrations in addition to the money that will fund activities such as security, catering, and decoration, among others.
“So you see how the money is going,” he told Olive in the conversation, adding that: "by the way, we prepared this budget before the prices shot high. Now that they have, that budget doesn't apply anymore, we may need a supplementary budget. And for that matter, it becomes so difficult to say that we should feed the pilgrims.”
“I will give you an example; we have catering for only officials and a total of over 800 ushers. If you say that you're going to feed 800 ushers, it is incredible. According to the Capacity assessment of Namugongo, it is estimated to bring almost 3 million pilgrims. How on earth is one expected to feed such a number even if it's for only a day?” He queried.
The Fort Portal Diocese last chaired the celebrations in 1997 when the celebrations would garner about 300 people. The numbers of people now attending the celebrations reach millions of people from various parts of the world, including Africa and Uganda.
This year's celebrations will run by the theme, “Baptized and sent to witness Christ with love and hope Matthew: 28:19 and Romans: 8:35”.
Brunch Talk is hosted by Olive Najjuma Monica every Saturday from Midday to 1 pm on RX Radio.