People & Tribe

Katikkiro Mayiga: Roofing Kasubi tombs has compulsory rituals

The Kasubi tombs were torched on March 16, 2010, in a mysterious fire, just nine years after being declared by Unesco as a world heritage facility. The tombs were established by King Mukaabya Walugembe Muteesa I in 1856.

Kasubi tomb roofing will take time, according to Charles Peter Mayiga, the Katikkiro (prime minister) of Buganda Kingdom, because certain mandatory ceremonies must be carried out before the work can begin.

Mr Mayiga, who spoke to the media during the official launch of the roofing process, stated that they could not speed the process since the stage they have reached requires more care than ever to be completed successfully.

This gathering has taken place in order for us to participate in one of the most important rites that takes place before to thatching the Kasubi tomb, known as Muzibu azaalampanga. According to the King of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, this ritual is supposed to be presided over by him, but this time he transferred his authority to Prince Daudi Chwa,” he explained.

Mr Mayiga went on to say that the Prince Chwa began the roofing process by handing over a red cow to the main thatcher, as a way of averting any potential disaster.

As a sign of officiating, the prince then gave over a bundle of thatches to the main thatcher (Wabulakayole) from the Ngeye clan’s lineage, and following that, the clan leader performed the ceremony by passing over two bundles of thatch as a sign of officiating.”

In his account, Mr Mayiga stated that he arrived at the tomb with a calabash of wine and was given a basket of coffee berries as a symbol that they would have to collaborate in order to complete the mission.

“I drank some of the wine to symbolize that we are working together peacefully and with the goal of achieving good results,” he explained.

“The practice is firmly based in culture and tradition, and it is essential that each and every one of them be followed. According to him, “the thatching symbolizes the beginning of the end of this most important work of rebuilding the Kasubi tombs.”

Mr Mayiga further stated that the exercise will take time because every step and piece of equipment that will be used must adhere to the ceremonial procedures in order to avoid making mistakes.

While he and his team arrived three weeks ago, he explained that the exercise would not be completed in one week and that people should be patient since they will soon be able to view the roof of the Kasubi tomb when they are outside the palace grounds.

“We had cultural procedures to follow while roofing the Kasubi tombs, because it was a cultural structure, and it was very crucial, and we needed more advice from the culture leaders of the royal family,” said Mr Kaddu Kiberu, the chairperson of the restoring committee. “Because it was a cultural structure, we had cultural procedures to follow while roofing the Kasubi tombs,” he added.

“Since the ceremony has taken place, we anticipate to conclude this step very soon because we have begun laying the grass as one of the final stages, and as the roofing is put on, other final touches will also be completed inside the tombs,” he continued.

It was just nine years after the Kasubi tombs were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site when they were destroyed in a mystery fire on March 16, 2010.

The graves were built by King Mukaabya Walugembe Muteesa I in 1856, upon his coronation.

The Mausoleum holds the bones of four past rulers of Buganda, namely Mwanga, Muteesa I, Daudi Chwa, and Sir Edward Muteesa II. Mwanga was the first monarch of Buganda, and Muteesa I was the second.

In the eyes of the Buganda people, restoration of the royal tombs remains the most significant issue and outstanding debt owed by the Mayiga-led administration. When Mayiga became premier in 2007, he set a one-year deadline for the reconstruction of the structures, which has not been met.

However, in his speech, Mr Mayiga reassured the residents of Buganda that, as he had previously promised earlier this year, the tombs could even be completed by the end of the calendar year.

The Baganda have expressed dissatisfaction with the delay in its restoration, with some accusing government officials of misappropriating cash.

The Kingdom generated and spent Shs6.06 billion as a result of a fundraising effort known as Ettoffaali and other sources, with the government contributing Shs2.3 billion of the total and pledging an additional Shs1.7 billion.

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