At the mention of Martyrs’ day, the location Namugongo is the first thing that comes to mind. But did you know that Kampala has lots of other sites where more than 20 Christian martyrs lived and some later killed in 1980.
Assuming you didn’t, View Uganda through its tested contributor Solomon Oleny will take you through the various sites and the stories therein. Stories of not just martyrdom but faith and consistent belief.
Off Lubaga Road
This is the spot where St. Jean Marie Muzeeyi one of the last martyrs was killed in October 1884. Muzeeyi was killed for rejecting the role of being caretaker of the Kasubi tomb where Mutesa had been buried in the early months of 84.Jean was beheaded and his head was thrown in Jugula swamp, wrapped in plantain leaves. For the reason that he once served as one of Mutesa’s nurses, Jean is regarded as the patron of medical professionals like nurses, doctors, physicians among others.
It is here that Kabaka Mutesa met Stanley and the first missionaries Shergold-Smith, Rev. C.T Wilson, O’Neil, and Alexander Mackay. Mutesa ordered that the missionaries be settled at present-day Lungujja hill. Months later, Mackay was dislodged off the hill to the Western Side of Nateete hill for stalking Mutesa using a pair of binoculars. The hills would later be offered to the Catholic missionaries and shifted.
MacKay’s cave Nateete
It is believed that Mackay was transferred here to prevent him from using his binoculars to follow proceedings in the palace of a polygamous Kabaka that had 85 wives and 1,000 concubines. It is here that Mackay began his missionary work by establishing a worship center, putting up an education center, a printing press, and a medical unit.
Sserwanga and Lugalama, the two-page boys who attempted to escape across Lake Victoria into Tanzania with Mackay were killed in this spot. The boys were led out with a mob howling insults and throwing stones. They were led down Nateete hill towards the swamp where their hands were cut off with hideous knives so that they could not struggle in the fire. Their charred bodies were thrown in a swamp in Busega. Today, a church stands behind a giant cross planted at the spot where the bodies were thrown.