For the second time since government in 2015 set aside February 16, on the Ugandan Calendar in remembrance of the former Archbishop of the Church of Uganda St. Janani Luwum as a public holiday, a circular rainbow halo appeared around the sun during the celebration at Wii-gweng village in Mucwini sub-county, Kitgum district.
The first time was on February 16, 2018 at about 11.15 am local time when a rare a circular rainbow halo wrapped itself around the sun.
Scientists later describe the phenomenon as ‘22-degree halo’. The ring is caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in cirrus clouds within the earth’s atmosphere. The crystals bend direct sunlight projecting it elsewhere into the sky, and at certain angel-usually at 22- degree.
However, Beatrice Anek Ochola 42, one of the pilgrims who attended the memorial service at Wigweng says the appearance of the halo indicates that the late Janani Luwum was a true saint.
On 16th February 1977, Luwum was murdered together with the former Inspector General of Police Wilson Erinayo Oryema, and former Defence Minister Charles Oboth Ofumbi for criticizing the excesses of Idi Amin’s regime.
Meanwhile, President Yoweri Museveni has said that the late Janani Luwum, did not die in vain but his deeds laid a firm foundation on which his predecessors are standing, more than 40 years after his death.
Museveni made the statement during the official ceremony for the celebration of the life of Janani Luwum which was ended on this day, in 1976, at the hands of then-president Field Marshall Iddi Amin Dada.
Museveni reiterated his earlier statements that no one will disturb the peace in the country and asked religious leaders to encourage peace and being fair in their criticism. He said that the government and the Church were interfacing to ensure infrastructure development at Mucwini, in Kitgum district where Archbishop Janani Luwum was eventually laid to rest.
The government in 2017 pledged to construct a monument in recognition of the Archbishop’s sacrifice as well as other infrastructure to develop his burial ground into a pilgrimage site.
The President’s statement followed reports that of the Bishop of Kitgum Diocese Rt. Rev. Wilson Kitara who said that they are ready to start the long term development of the St. Janan Luwum Martyrs site.