Annual Kagulu Hill climbing challenge set for tomorrow

Friday August 16 2019

President Museveni, Speaker Rebecca K

President Museveni, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and Kyabazinga of Busoga William Gabula Nadiope tour Kagulu Hill in May last year.PHOTO BY DENIS EDEMA 

By SAM CALEB OPIO & DENIS EDEMA

Tomorrow, all roads will lead to Kagulu Sub-county in Buyende District in Busoga Sub-region for the annual Kagulu cultural heritage rock climbing challenge, with President Museveni expected to be the chief climber.

He, together with other local and international dignitaries, will be hosted by the Kyabazinga of Busoga, Mr William Wilberforce Nadiope Gabula IV, and the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga.

Uniqueness
Ms Veronica Babirye Kadogo, the area Woman Member of Parliament (MP), says this year’s climbing challenge is unique in that it was preceded by a tourism expo attended by Miss World, Ms Vanessa Ponce, and Miss World Africa 2018, Ms Quiin Abenakyo, adding that there will be beauty queens from all the 11 chiefdoms.

Ms Kadogo called for promotion of cultural and community tourism, especially in the Busoga tourism circuit.
She said emphasis will be on documentation of the rich cultural, religious history and sites in Busoga.

“We have to promote our culture and religious sites by documenting their significance and opening up to the world,” Ms Kadogo said.

Mr Godfrey Dhamuzungu, the Budiope East County MP, challenged the Uganda Tourism Board to expedite presidential directives to improve cultural sites such as ensuring access to roads, electricity and water.

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President Museveni, five years ago, launched the Kagulu Hill-climbing initiative and declared it an annual event.

Kagulu Hill
Cultural significance. Believed to have been the first settlement of Busoga royals; Omukama Namatukula and his wife Nawudo after crossing Lake Kyoga from Bunyoro in the early 17th Century.
Kagulu Hill, which rises about 3,600 feet above sea level, is significant for its role as a coronation site for Busoga royal kings with a fulltime cultural caretaker called Mandwa Kagulu, believed to possess the Chwezi spirits to guard the chiefdom.
At the Western side of the Hill is a sacred well with a canoe and oar with ‘footprints’ believed to have been left by Omukama Namatukula.
At the summit lies a grave of hyenas where locals are said to have suffocated more than 200 hyenas which were mauling their livestock.
Hills on hill. At the top of the hill are five small hills - Bukolima, Empanga, Nakyeere, Mawaale, and Kagwesi.
In early 1972, while flying over Busoga Sub-region, President Idi Amin, reportedly sighted the rock, and admired the serene environment and expressed desire to build his residence there.
He ordered for the construction of concrete staircase ladders but later ordered for the construction of a broadcasting satellite station site.
Activities at the Hill. Residents use a section of the hill for grazing animals and planting bananas and sweet potatoes and collecting water for subsistence consumption.
editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

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