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Janani Luwum Family Rejects Reburial Plan

Dr Olara Otunnu, a member of a committee organizing the annual Janan Luwum day celebrations, says the family rejected the proposal to exhume the remains, saying they wont allow any further disturbance. Otunnu was on Monday addressing journalists in Gulu.
Dr Olara Otunnu and Retired Bishop Benoni Ogwal

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The family of former Archbishop Janani Luwum has rejected a proposal to have his remains exhumed and reburied at Namirembe Cathedral, the Provincial Cathedral of the Church of Uganda.

The province of the Church of Uganda had proposed that the remains of Archbishop Janani Luwum, one of the most influential leaders of the modern Church in Africa, be moved to the seat of the province in honor of his legacy and a befitting burial at the seat of the Province.

Luwum was killed on February 16, 1977, amid accusations that he was in contact with Forces that were planning to overthrow the then government. Archbishop Luwum was a leading voice in criticizing excesses of the Idi Amin regime.

Dr Olara Otunnu, a member of a committee organizing the annual Janan Luwum day celebrations, says the family rejected the proposal to exhume the remains, saying they won't allow any further disturbance. Otunnu was on Monday addressing journalists in Gulu.

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A source in Luwum's family that preferred anonymity confirmed this to URN. She said relocating the remains would stagnate development of Wii Gweng, his ancestral ground.

"Janani was a prophetic leader of the Church. He was killed for saying the guns that should protect the people have been turned to kill the people. And his death became the seed that led to the growth of the Church", Bishop Benoni Ogwal Abwang, the retired Bishop of Diocese of Northern Uganda said.

Shortly before the killing, Archbishop Luwum delivered a note of protest to Idi Amin against arbitrary killings and unexplained disappearances of key individuals that spoke against the regime.

He and other leading churchmen were then accused of treason. He was subsequently murdered with two other high profile Ugandans; IGP Erinayo Wilson Oryema and former defense Minister Oboth Ofumbi.

At the time, he was the archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Boga Zaire. Soldiers buried his remains in a makeshift grave in Wii-Gweng parish in Mucwini Sub County.

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