Why Kabaka chose Nkoni palace for 28th coronation

Tuesday July 27 2021

Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi chats with Nabagereka Sylvia Nagginda at a function in April 13, 2016. PHOTO/ FILE

By Wilson Kutamba

Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi will celebrate his 28th coronation anniversary this Saturday at Nkoni palace in Lwengo District, which is in Buddu County.
Like last year’s coronation, this one will also attract a handful of selected guests in observance of the Covid-19 standard operating procedures.
According to organisers, only 20 guests have been invited.
Mr Jude Muleke, the Buddu chief, at the weekend said the palace was selected for the occasion because of its historical significance to the kingdom.
“Among other significances, Nkoni palace is a gift to the Kabaka’s father (Muteesa I) that his people gave him in 1955 when he was coming from exile. Therefore, he will be celebrating at his father’s home,” Mr Muleke said.
According to Mr Muleke, the construction of the palace, which sits on 10 acres of land, was mobilised by 10 coffee farmers.
They included Zelibaberi Mutasaga, Yokana Mukasa, Musa Magezi, Aron Tebajjanga,  and Tefiro Ssembuzi,.
“When the Kabaka came back from exile, the coffee farmers through their capacities presented Nkoni as a gift and this cements Buddu County relationship with coffee as their major cash crop,” Mr Muleke said.
He said the palace has since been renovated, adding that a  newly refurbished structure will be unveiled at the coronation. On  March 22, 2003, 33 people led by former Masaka chairperson Joseph Kasozi were selected to take care of the palace.
Mr Muleke said recently, one of Buganda well-wishers, Mr Robert Asiimwe, tarmaked a 2-kilometre road from Masaka–Mbarara highway connecting to the palace at a cost of Shs270m.
Mr Muleke said preparations are in advanced stages for the anniversary.
“We shall observe all Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health such social distancing, washing hands with soap, sanitising, wearing masks, and measuring body temperature of all guests before they can access the venue,” he said.
The Buddu chief said cultural activities such as the Kabaka sounding the Mujaguzo drums will also be performed.
“There are other important aspects like a chief from one county handing over the Kabaka to another chief that we are not yet sure whether they will be performed but we are waiting for Mengo’s guidance,” he said.
Mr Stephen Zziwa, a Buddu youth representative, said the Kabaka has improved the livelihoods of Buddu residents through coffee project and improved education through institutions such as Muteesa 1 Royal University.
Ms Florence Nakimbugwe, a resident of Masaka, said: “I thank the Kabaka for health projects such as fighting fistula among women for free at Kitovu Hospital, blood donation camps, vaccination against Hepatitis B, among others.”
Mr Muhammad Musa Kigongo – Buddu County spokesperson, said the Kabaka has fought against HIV/Aids and donated money from Kabaka birthday runs to save lives and improve health services.