Rain, Silent Night Usher in New Year

Major hotels like Sheraton, Serena, and Skyz in Naguru were silent with no signs of New Year celebrations.
A new years decoration at Sheraton

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Rain and a silent night ushered in the New Year in parts of Kampala.

On Monday, the government suspended all New Year night celebrations, including display of fireworks, prayers and converging in trading centres. The Information minister, Judith Nabakooba, said police were directed not to grant any company permission to display fireworks, saying it would lead to gatherings of people and escalate the spread of coronavirus.

Ugandans have been in the past been used to welcoming the New Year by lighting fire or displaying fireworks. Some Christians spend the night in prayers. However, on Thursday night, it was different.

At exactly midnight, many of the entertainment venues that in the past ushered in the New Year by displaying fireworks were deserted.  Major hotels like Sheraton, Serena, and Skyz in Naguru were silent with no signs of New Year celebrations.

Other districts of Jinja, Soroti, Serere equally received rainfall on new year’s eve with some parts of the country experiencing power blackout.

However, some Ugandans think the rain was a blessing. Many posted on their social media that rain had come to wash away the covid-19 virus, the sins of the world and 2021 was a great start.

“And by the stroke of midnight on 1st January, Kampala and her surroundings were covered in drizzles, perhaps to wash away the pains and tears of many Ugandans.” One of the posts read.

Others also questioned if it was only raining in Uganda on New Year’s Eve and what it could mean, while others said rain was a blessing.

“We have received rain on a great day, this is going to be a good year, fasten your seat belts for the journey” James Okello posted on his Facebook.

Unlike in the past when Christians held night prayers to usher in the New Year, this time round, Churches resorted to online prayers.  

Pastor Jackson Ssenyonga of Christian life Church says that rain is a sign of blessings for 2021.

Pastor Robert Kayanja of Miracle Centre Cathedral told the congregation online that the rain means all their prayers have been answered. Kayanja said God has listened to prayers and 2021 would be a good year filled with God’s blessings.

//Cue in: “It is raining…

Cue out:…write it down”//

At Watoto Church, Pastor Calvin Oule asked Christians not to dwell in the past. He said despite the troubles they faced, Christians should be thankful.

//Cue in: "Despite the troubles...

cue your school"//

 URN spoke to some Christians who said they are hopeful for a better 2021.

Vox Pops

//Cue in: “Natugamba omwaka omupya…

Cue out:…God will work”// 

In Wakiso, some residents ushered in the New Year celebrating silently in their homes.

Several shops, bars and other entertainment places in the outskirts of the town were seen secretly operating despite the heavy deployment of security personnel. Other residents organized prayer groups inside their houses.

In Kasangati Afro bar and restaurant allowed only 100 of its loyal clients to silently usher in the New Year.

Ivan Kiyaga, the owner of Bamboo Bar in Kiteezi says he opened his bar to get the proceeds from willing clients.

Ruth Ninsiima,  a born again Christian who prays from Canaan Church every end of the year has invited friends for overnight prayers at her home in Kasangati.

"I have to pray together with other prayer warriors to end the year 2020 and usher in 2021 in a peaceful way. " Ninsiima said. 

The Kasangati Officer-in-charge operations Andrew Angume,  says the deployment was meant to keep law and order in Kasangati town council and the surrounding areas. 

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