Ssese Residents Construct Temporary Palace for Kabaka Top story


In short
Bruce Ssenkubuge, the deputy Ssese under the Mengo administration says they have decided to construct a temporary palace to host the Kabaka at Bujumba sub county headquarters.

Buganda loyalists in Ssese have constructed a temporary palace to accommodate the Kabaka due to the poor state of the old palace. Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi is expected in Kalangala today ahead of his 22nd coronation anniversary celebrations tomorrow.
Traditionally, the Kabaka spends a night in his palace in the county which is hosting him. However, the palace in Kalangala is dilapidated because of years of neglect. The palace at Ssozi village on Bugala Island was built during the reign of Kabaka Edward Mutesa.

According to residents, the palace is in a sorry state and is overgrown with grass. Bruce Ssenkubuge, the deputy chief Ssese under the Mengo administration says they have decided to construct a temporally palace to host the Kabaka at Bujumba sub county headquarters.

He says they opted for temporary palace due to lack of resources to rehabilitate Ssozi palace.  The temporary palace was built using more than ten thousand reeds also known as Emmuli that were collected by Buganda loyalists. Ssenkubuge says the temporally palace is ready and has been handed over to Kabaka's security details.

He says they hope the palace will accommodate the Kabaka and his family until a permanent one is built. It is not clear, whether the Kabaka will use the temporary palace or not. In October 2012, Kalangala residents clashed with Mengo officials at the district headquarters over Kabaka's accommodation. 

While Mengo officials opted to host the Kabaka at Ssese Habitat Resort because of the poor state of his palace, traditionalists opposed the move saying it is a taboo for the Kabaka to sleep in a lodge where commoners have slept. This sparked off protests prompting residents to erect a makeshift palace where the Kabaka slept. 

Dennis Walusimbi, the Buganda Kingdom Information Minister says Mengo has a master plan to rehabilitate all it palaces. He however says he is not sure when the Kingdom shall start implementing the plan. Walusimbi however notes that the Kingdom is happy that Kalangala residents have taken it upon themselves to put up a beautiful palace for Kabaka. 

By the time of filing this report, dozens of Buganda loyalists had started lining up in Nyendo, Bukakata, Bugoma and Kalangala district headquarters to welcome Kabaka.  Our reporter saw the enthusiastic Buganda loyalists singing and dancing in praise of the Kabaka. They have also installed structures known in luganda as Ebitililwa and decorated them with Kabaka's posters. 

Currently, hundreds of Kingdom subjects are benefiting from a free medical camp hosted by the kingdom at  Bishop Dunstan Secondary school as part of the coronation anniversary activities. Dr. Hillary Bitakalamire, the Kalangala District Medical Officer says they have treated over 400 patients since Wednesday.   


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.