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Buganda Cultural Sites Craving for Kingdom Attention

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Steven Nyombi, the Chief Executive Officer Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board, which shares the responsibility of caring and developing such places, says they are aware of the challenges facing the cultural sites.
Namasole Kannyange tombs found in Kagoma-Matuga is one of the sites craving for the kingdom’s attention.

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Several Buganda kingdom traditional and cultural sites in Wakiso district have been left to waste away.  These include among others palaces, tombs of former kings and queen mothers, a number of clan headquarters and many historical sites where several cultural practices and rituals are performed. 

Our reporter visited a number of cultural sites in Busiro and Kyadondo counties and spoke to their caretakers who said the sites have been 'forgotten' by Buganda Kingdom authorities despite their importance

Sauda Namalwa is the care taker of the royal tombs of Kabaka Kimbugwe, the thirteenth King of Buganda which are found in Bugwanya village in Sentema in Wakiso District. She has been caretaking the tombs for 29 years.

According to Namalwa, such places are only remembered when there are rituals to be performed and there after nobody returns to check on their status. Namalwa says the desire to rehabilitate the tombs is restricted by cultural norms.

She recalls the time the tombs burnt to ashes and it took years for the concerned individuals to intervene and rebuild them. Namalwa says they have made several pleas to the kingdom to revamp the royal tomb site but nothing has been done.

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Nabawanuka Nawunguma Kaddulubaale, the care taker of Namasole Kannyange site in Kagoma-Matuga, says they hardly see anyone from the concerned department in the kingdom yet they are battling several challenges.

Nawunguma says most of the sites are grappling with land disputes as they are confronted by some elements within the linage of succession. 

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Steven Nyombi, the Chief Executive Officer Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board, which shares the responsibility of caring and developing such places, says they are aware of the challenges facing the cultural sites. 

Nyombi says following the 1966 political turmoil, many cultural sites were devastated and grabbed, which saw massive exploitation of resources without concern for conservation.  

He says that upon the restoration of kingship in Uganda and Buganda in particular, the Kabaka raised concern about the indiscriminate environmental degradation and need to preserve Buganda's the cultural heritage.

URN has learnt that the kingdom has since selected a few cultural sites, condescendingly most important and commonly referred to as the Kabaka's Trail and revamped them. They have also been placed under care of Kabaka Foundation. These include and are not limited to Wamala royal tombs, Naggalabi Coronation Site, Ssezibwa Falls and Katereke Ditch Prison among others.

Information from the Kabaka foundation website shows that the strong cultural ties between the Kingship, and these sites prompted His Majesty Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi to put them under Kabaka Foundation as a direct project implementer. 

Nyombi says the kingdom has put in place a number of strategies to revamp the cultural sites and preserve them for the future generation.

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