Buganda's Lukunyu Palace in Ruins Top story

4736 Views Kasensero Landing Site, Uganda

In short
Lukunyu Palace sits on the site where Buganda once launched her wars of expansion against the Bahaya and Kiziba kingdoms in present-day Tanzania. The Palace was a beloved private residence of Edward Mutesa II where he occasionally went with members of the Royal Family. A stench emanating from bats droppings disrupt you at the entrance of the main palace, once a centre of power, authority and royalty.

One of the historical sites in Buganda Kingdom lies in ruin years after it was abandoned.

Sir Edward Mutesa II was the last king to live in Lukunyu Palace located in Nangoma parish, Kyebe Sub County in Rakai District.

The site is a peninsula projecting into Lake Victoria with a beautiful view of the lake. To get to the site, one would either take a 15-minute boat ride from Kasensero Landing Site or a three-hour drive from Mutukula border.
  
Constructed in the 1920s, all the once magnificent buildings - four in number including the main palace, are now in ruins.
  
The houses were strategically constructed at the top of an undulating touching the shores of the lake. It is probably the only historical site which has one side of the grounds in Uganda and the other in Tanzania.
  
Lukunyu Palace sits on the site where Buganda once launched her wars of expansion against the Bahaya and Kiziba kingdoms in present-day Tanzania.
 
The Palace was a beloved private residence of Edward Mutesa II where he occasionally went with members of the Royal Family.
 
Before becoming Mutesa's private palace in 1961, the buildings were owned by one of the colonial Governors of Uganda, Sir Frederick Crawford. The palace covers over 48 acres of land.
 
Despite its rich history, however, Nangoma remains a desolate site.  Bats and rats occupy some of the buildings. A nursery school operates in one of them although the walls are on the verge of curving in.
  
A stench emanating from bats' droppings disrupt you at the entrance of the main palace, once a centre of power, authority and royalty.
  
A lady who identified herself as a Rose Namutebi tells Uganda Uganda Radio Network that a few years ago, a delegation of Buganda Kingdom officials visited the palace and told them they planned to reconstruct the buildings.
  
Namutebi, however, says since then no other official has gone back. Despite their dilapidated state, the four structures look significantly unique in architecture compared to the ordinary houses at Nangoma peninsula.
  
Charles Njuba, a resident of this area says it is surprising no rehabilitation has been carried out on the historical site.
  
He says if reconstructed, Lukunyu Palace can generate revenue from tourists.
  
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Denis Walusimbi, the Buganda Kingdom Minister for Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Royal Affairs says the Kingdom does not have resources to have Lukunyu palace rehabilitated now.
  
He says although the kingdom has a master plan to reconstruct all its palaces, they do not have available resources to do that.
  
Walusimbi however says they started with Bulange and Kasubi Tombs and when they get enough resources, they will move ahead and reconstruct all up country palaces.

 

About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.