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Why Kabaka Mutebi Got Involved in Kasubi Tombs Reconstruction

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This ritual was last performed in 1882 when Kabaka Muteesa I personally put up three rings in the ceiling of his Kasubi Nnabulagala Palace as it was being constructed. These rings supporting the roof are part of the 52 rings in this tomb that symbolize the 52 clans of Buganda. Thus Kabaka Mutebi II is the first reigning King of Buganda to climb up the roof of the main hut, Muzibu Azaala Mpanga, to place these rings ever since Muteesa I was laid to rest under them in 1884.
a strut being handed over to Kabaka Mutebi

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Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II on Thursday morning physically participated in the reconstruction of the Kasubi Royal Tombs by climbing up to the interior on a ladder and reaching the centre of Muzibu Azaala Mpanga ceiling to install three round woven rings in the support structure of the roof. 

Muzibu Azaala Mpanga is the main hut at Kasubi under which four past Buganda kings are buried. Mukaabya Muteesa I, who initially built it as his palace in 1882, was buried there in 1884. He was followed by Kabaka Basamula Ekkere Mwanga when he died in exile in 1903 and buried at Kasubi in 1910, Daudi Chwa II in 1939 and Edward Muteesa II in 1971.

Kabaka Mutebi arrived at the tombs very early in the morning before day break as per the customs to perform rituals that start the final phase of the reconstruction of the tombs which were destroyed by fire in March 2010. These secret rituals are not supposed to see the light of day or to be witnessed by the public due to their sacrosanctity as the tombs is also a place of Ganda spirituality. 

  //Cue in: "Ssabasajja atuuse mu Masiro...

Cue out:    ...//

This ritual was last performed in 1882 when Kabaka Muteesa I personally put up 3 rings in the ceiling of his Kasubi Nnabulagala palace as it was being constructed. These rings supporting the roof are part of the 52 rings in this tomb that symbolize the 52 clans of Buganda. Thus Kabaka Mutebi II is the first reigning king of Buganda to climb up the roof of the main hut to place these rings ever since Muteesa I was laid to rest under them.

According to Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga, the Kabaka led the designing of the interior and installed three circular rings at the centre of the tomb’s ceiling. He did this aided by his nephew, Prince Daudi Chwa, who carried the rings on his head as per the rites.

//Cue in: "Ssabasajja yenyini 

Cue out...//

//Cue in: Ssabasajja Kabaka akutte ekizizi...//  

Cue out..//

He did this as the royal drum Bantadde sounded. In Buganda tradition, this drum announces the visit of members of the royal family to the royal tombs. This rhythm is the motto of the royal family: “Bantadde, Bantadde ggwe Ngo ggwe Musota…”   A pole known as Sserugattika has also been fixed in the tombs under the supervision of the Kabaka. 

 

This comes at a time when the people of Buganda have been waiting for more than 10 years for the tombs to be restored after being ravaged by a fire on the evening of March 17, 2010. Many people from all over the world contributed money to the tune of nine billion Ugandan shillings towards the restoration of these tombs through a fundraising drive known as Ettofaali led by Katikkiro Mayiga from 2013 to 2015. 

Hajji Kaddu Kiberu, the committee head of the restoration of the tombs says that he expects the tombs to be completed in about one and a half years.  

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