Kampala, Uganda — Pope Benedict XVI has donated sh62m to help victims of the landslide that buried three villages and displaced hundreds in Bududa district earlier this month.
The Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, Cyprian Lwanga, said the Pope sent the aid through the Apostolic Nuncio, Paul Tschang In-Nam.
Speaking during Palm Sunday mass at Rubaga cathedral, Lwanga said: "The Pope sympathises with the victims of the tragedy that occurred in Bududa. He has sent help worth $30,000."
The archbishop said the donation was part of the Pope's efforts to help the less privileged during the lent period. He urged Christians to emulate the pontiff.
He added that the church would continue to support relief efforts through organisations like Caritas Uganda.
He warned Christians against donating worn-out or torn clothing. "Give out something that even you want to be given, not just items that are worth discarding. It gives happiness and builds a good relationship between you who gives and those who receive."
Over 300,000 people have been displaced in eastern Uganda following the landslides that hit Nametse, Kubweho and Namanga villages on March 1.
According to the Uganda Red Cross, 94 bodies were recovered and over 300 people are still missing.
Meanwhile, the archbishop dismissed reports that the statue of Mother Mary outside Rubaga cathedral is a curse to Buganda. He said people have been alleging that the events in Buganda are a result of a curse by the Catholic Church since the statue faces Mengo.
He explained that the statue was constructed to symbolise the church's devotion to the mother of Jesus.
"I appeal to you to leave the statue alone because it has nothing to do with the Mengo establishment. It has existed since the missionaries set foot in Uganda in 1879," he said.
He also urged Christians to desist from violence during the Holy Week. Christians all over the world celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday to mark the beginning of the Holy Week before Easter.
The day symbolises the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem about 2,000 years ago.