The Kabaka of Buganda, Ronald Mwenda Mutebi 11, has thanked the government of Uganda and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for their assistance in the restoration of the Kasubi tombs. The king made the remarks during a meeting on June 13, 2023, at the Bulange palace in Mengo.
In his speech, the Kabaka said that although sometimes the kingdom operates in difficult economic and political circumstances, he takes comfort from the assistance rendered to the kingdom by institutions like UNESCO that recognize the importance of culture and its benefits.
“In 2001, the Kasubi tombs were promoted to the international status of a UNESCO world heritage site, and the promotion attracted many people from all over the world to come to do research on the kingdom and promote the Kasubi tombs,” the Kabaka said.
The Kabaka also expressed his gratitude for the wonderful relationship between UNESCO and Buganda Kingdom.
“I am grateful to UNESCO and the government for the great work they are doing, which has enabled Buganda to showcase the cultural potential of heritage sites beyond Africa.
“I also commend and value the initiative of UNESCO in team building with Buganda Kingdom and commit to upholding it,” he added.
UNESCO Secretary General Lazare Elounou Assomo thanked the Kabaka for helping in the revival of the Kasubi tombs and also culture in general.
“Your highness, thank you for standing up for the protection of the royal tombs and the revival of Buganda culture; the work being done at the tombs is a result of your commitment to Buganda culture,” Assomo said.
According to Assomo, UNESCO will continue in its role and mandate to circulate cultural information about Uganda worldwide to increase tourism, among other developmental benefits.
In June 2010, a devastating fire destroyed the Kasubi tombs site, putting it on the World Heritage List in Danger. This affected both local and international tourism, and the government, working with UNESCO, embarked on its restoration.
The government has played a great role in the restoration of the tombs and put up measures such as putting up ultrasonic machines to protect fires, planting trees, and educating the youth on culture and norms.