The Prime Minister of Buganda Kingdom, Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga this week rallied the media on a tour to assess the progress in the reconstruction of the Masiro at Kasubi Royal Tombs. The Masiro got burnt on March 17, 2010.
The Katikkiro was also accompanied by members of the reconstruction committee led by Owek kaddu Kiberu, whom he congratulated for the progressive work done.
“I want us to thank the construction team for the work well done, working tirelessly, selflessly, and passionately in the reconstruction of these tombs as you can see,” Mayiga said.
According to Jonathan Nsubuga, the architecture and head of technical team, “we need about Shs 2 billion to complete the work of Kasubi tombs and put everything according to our norms and cultures.”
“The work is tedious and must be done by specific people from specific clans otherwise they won’t be the Royal Tombs. We do this work while according it the cultural value,” Nsubuga said. He added that the tombs could be completed in 2018.
According to the Katikkiro, they stopped public visits to the tombs to enable the constructors execute their tasks diligently. He called on Baganda to bring traditional paraphernalia used in the construction of the royal tombs.
The tombs are also a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) heritage site.
The Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi constitute a site embracing almost 30 hectares. Most of the site is agricultural, farmed by traditional methods.
At its core on the hilltop is the main tomb building, locally referred to as the "Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga" which is a masterpiece of this ensemble. It has been in existence since the 13th century.
The latest building was the former palace of the Kabakas of Baganda, built in 1882 and converted into the royal burial ground in 1884. Four royal tombs now lie within the Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga.
The main tomb building, which is circular and surmounted by a dome, is a major example of an architectural achievement that was raised with use of vegetal materials comprised of wooden poles, spear grass, reeds and wattle.
Its unusual scale and outstanding details bear witness to the creative genius of the Baganda and as a masterpiece of form and craftsmanship; it is an exceptional surviving example of an architectural style developed by the powerful Buganda Kingdom since the 13th Century.
The Kasubi Tomb’s main significance lies, however, in its intangible values of belief, spirituality, continuity and identity.