By Hanning Mbabazi
Transport fares to Namugongo in public commuter taxis and on boda-boda motorbikes have hiked due to the ongoing Martyrs Day celebrations at the Catholic and Anglican shrines in Namugongo.
The celebrations have attracted thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. For one to board a taxi from Kampala to Namugongo he/she has to part with Ugshs6,000 from the usual Ugshs2,500. Motorcycles are charging between Ugshs8,000 to Ugshs10,000 from Kireka and Ntinda to Namugongo from normal price of Ugshs1,500 or Ugshs2,000. The fares are expected to further rise later in the evening as pilgrims return to their homes as several roads leading to the Catholic and Protestants shrines in Namugongo remain heavily jammed with human traffic, while others are blocked. The head of traffic police Kampala metropolitan Norman Musinga says that “Only VIP guests with stickers will access the roads and reserved parking areas around the shrines.” All roads leading to Namugongo Catholic and Protestant Martyrs shrines are only accessible on foot as Security teams mounting a number of check points for all pilgrims to successfully access the shrines sure of their security.
Namugongo Catholic shrine is currently full to capacity yet more pilgrims are still arriving. VIP’s at the Nakiyanja shrine are accessing the venue through Bweyogerere-Buto road and have been advised to park near the mosque while foreign nationals heading to the Catholic Church with yellow stickers will park at Vienna College. Musinga says pilgrims that are walking to Namugongo are only allowed to use Kyaliwajala road to the both shrines and private cars including public service vehicles and motorcycles are strictly not allowed near any of the shrines.