Kasubi Tombs reconstruction is to be completed before the end 2018, the Katikkiro Peter Charles Mayiga has said.
He assured Ugandans that works were in high gear and advanced stages, with about 80% of the works complete.
Mayiga made the announcement during his annual working tour visit at the site to check on the progress of the reconstruction works.
“Many people thought the works had stalled which is wrong. We have been working tirelessly throughout the year and the progress is visible now,” he noted.
Mayiga said the construction and architectural works of the cultural site is not like those of other structures; because it is founded on tradition with norms and rituals that have to be followed during the construction process.
“This is a unique site with traditional attachments; which needs a lot of work with the special people needed to perform various tasks. That’s why work has been slow in the past because we had to follow rituals,” he added.
It is now eight years since Kasubi Tombs were torched by unknown people leaving many some of the historical objects destroyed and others damaged.
The tombs seat on a 64-acre of land in Kasubi Nabulagala in Rubaga division, about six kilometers from the city centre Kampala.
The tombs house the remains of four fallen Buganda kings including; Daniel Mwanga II, Mutesa I, Edward Mutesa II and Daudi Chwa. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) listed the site as a World Heritage Site, because of its uniqueness. The site had been constructed purely with botanical materials before being burnt to ashes.
According to the one of the Buganda officials who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity, the tombs used to raise about sh400million annually from tourists. Mayiga said they want to make sure the site is restored and maintained with advanced safety measures to avoid the same incident in future.
File Photo/Peter Busomoke
He thanked the construction committee and all the workers for the great work.
“The biggest fruit we want to harvest before the end of 2018 is the completion of the main house “Muzibu Azalampanga”. With the progress at hand; I am sure the works will be completed before next year’s Christmas. We suspended tourism at the site to first finish this work,” he noted.
The chairman of the constriction committee, Kaddu Kiberu said most of the complex work involving performing ritual has been done. “We are now working on the roofing. But we are sure we shall be handing over the site to Government and the Kingdom in 2018,” he added.
He thanked the Kabaka for endless support he gave them. “The Kabaka has been giving us a lot of support to make sure we reach where we are now. It was not easy because we had many challenges which affected our operations,” he added.
Last year, Government committed one more sh1bn towards the completion of the historical site. Initially Government and Buganda Kingdom had had budgeted sh4.5bn for the reconstruction of the tombs where Government had contributed sh2bn but realised it had been underestimated.
The Katikkiro also initiated ‘Etofari’ fundraising project in 2014; where he managed to raise about sh8bn; and part of it was allocated to do other activities at the site.
UNESCO also provided firefighting equipment, a water tank reservoir and automatic canon firefighting kits among other equipment worth over sh1bn which were installed at the site.
Kasubi tombs were handed over to Buganda Kingdom after President Yoweri Museveni reinstituted cultural institutions in 1993, after 27 years of abolishment.