THE Katikiro of Buganda Peter Charles Mayiga has said that the reconstruction work on Kasubi Tombs will be completed by the end of 2016.
“I want to assure our people and all Ugandans that the works are in high gear and we hope to be complete it in December this year,” he added. Mayiga said this during his monthly inspection of the tombs to check its progress.
However, the Ministry of Tourism also pledged to give more support towards the completion of the main house "Muzibu Azala Mpanga" at the tombs.
It is now coming to eight years since the tombs were torched in 2009, leaving some of the historical objects destroyed and damaged.
The tombs house the remains of four fallen Buganda kings including Daniel Mwanga II, Mutesa I, Edward Mutesa II and Daudi Chwa.
Rose Mwanja, the commissioner in charge of museums and monuments at the ministry, said they are already lobbying for another sh1bn to help in the completion of the historical site.
"We are going to present our proposal to cabinet”.
Mwanja said initially they had budgeted sh4.5bn for the reconstruction of the house but realized it was an underestimate.
“Of course, government had already contributed sh2bn, but we realized it was not enough given the nature of work. Government pledged to reconstruct this site,” she added.
Mwanja said contributions from Katikiro’s ‘etoffali’ drives were used to do other projects and components.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) also provided firefighting equipment, a water tank reservoir and automatic canon firefighting kits among other equipment worth over sh1bn.
Mwanja said having been gazetted as a national and world historical monument, government remains a key player to make sure that the site is restored and maintained.
"It is also government which requested UNESCO to list the site as a World Heritage Site. It was listed because of its uniqueness. This site had been constructed purely with botanical materials," she added.
Without mentioning any amount, Mwanja said out of the many cultural sites in the country, Kasubi tombs generated more of the visitors in the country because of its uniqueness.
The Kingdom finance minister, Waggwa Nsibirwa, in November last year disclosed to the Kingdom assembly (Lukiiko) that they had managed to raise over sh8bn from 'etoffali' fundraising drives between August 31, 2104 and October 10, 2015.
The funds were used to construct Kasubi Tombs' perimeter wall, constructing houses and water among others works.
John Kiyimba Freeman, the chairman Buganda Twezimbe, said they used sh2.3bn to construct the perimeter wall covering 63acres among other activities. UNESCO recognised Kasubi tombs as a World Heritage Site in 1999.
Kasubi tombs were handed over to Buganda Kingdom after President Yoweri Museveni reinstituted cultural institutions in 1993, after 27 years of abolishment.