UPDF elite unit, Special Forces Command [SFC], has deployed at Uganda Martyrs Shrine Namugongo to secure the area as President Yoweri Museveni attends the prayers.
SFC has now taken over security which was prior a responsibility of the Uganda police force.
Just like at Namugongo Catholic Shrine, SFC has also taken over security at Nakiyanja Anglican Shrine.
Kampala Metro Police spokesperson, CP. Frank Mwesigwa, said Joint Intelligence teams are monitoring the neighborhoods and hotels that may harbour criminals,
The Police deployed snipers and at least 20,000 security personnel at Namugongo martyrs’ shrine and surrounding areas at this year’s celebrations.
Earlier, security had deployed 11,000 personnel to ensure calm as pilgrims flocked the shrine.
By Tuesday, over 2,000 pilgrims from both Uganda and other neighboring countries had already arrived.
Businesses selling second hand clothes and shoes, bars and restaurants, among others, are already booming in the surrounding areas.
Given the increasing number of pilgrims at the shrine from time to time and the increasing population around the shrine, security has been ramped up by counter-terrorism and military police.
All entrances are manned by Special Forces Command and Counter Terrorism Police.
They have also installed surveillance cameras in different areas and all entrances have been equipped with metal detectors.
All pilgrims are subject to thorough security checks.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has already arrived for Julius Nyerere prayers, part of the spiritual preparation for the Martyrs Day Celebrations on June 3.
Accompanying Mr. Museveni is Father Vincent Lubega the Parish Priest of Namugongo.
Martyrs day is an important day on the Catholic calendar worldwide and Pope Francis celebrated a mass attended by thousands during his November 2015 visit to the country.