A project to restore Kasubi Tombs, a World Heritage Site destroyed in a fire two years ago, has been launched at Bulange-Mengo, the administrative seat of Buganda Kingdom.
Vice President Edward Ssekandi presided over the ceremony on Friday at which Shs167 million was raised in cash and pledges for the reconstruction. About Shs10 billion is needed to rebuild the historical site where the remains of many Baganda kings are interred.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Katikkiro John Baptist Walusimbi said the delay in rebuilding the site was due to cultural rituals and other consultations that had to be undertaken.
Donations to the reconstruction project so far include: Shs2 billion from the government; Shs53.7 million from Unesco; and Shs736 million from individuals. The Japanese government has offered to install security equipment at the site.
The grass-thatched tombs on the outskirts of the city went up in flames in March 2010 destroying cultural regalia and one of the country’s most iconic pieces of local architecture.
The cause of the fire has not yet been made public, neither have the findings of a six-member committee led by Justice Stephen George Engwau, which investigated the inferno. Mr Ssekandi pledged the government’s support in the rebuilding.