Masaka — Kabaka Ronald Mutebi II has said the kingdom will soon prioritise the reconstruction of Lukunyu Palace, which is currently in a sorry state.
Lukunyu Palace is on the shores of Lake Victoria at Lukunyu Landing Site in Nangoma Sub-county, Kyotera District.
The palace was one of Ssekabaka Edward Muteesa II's favourite hangouts.
Kabaka said after giving the palace a facelift, it will be added on the list of tourist sites in the kingdom.
"I have personally visited that palace and saw its condition. We have not forgotten it, just be assured that both the palace and cave are going to be rehabilitated and turned into a tourist attraction," the Kabaka said.
Ssekabaka Muteesa II bought Lukunyu Palace in 1961 from the then Governor of Uganda, Sir Frederick Crawford, before modifying it.
The main house is currently housing a nursery school, with its walls covered in writings.
The other four small houses which were built at the shores of the lake have been left to the wilderness.
The Kabaka made the remarks on Sunday during a special service at St Paul Cathedral, Kako in Masaka District.
Masaka to a city
During the service, the Kabaka faulted government for postponing the operationalisation of Masaka Municipality as a city until 2023.
He said Masaka Town is one of the oldest urban units in Uganda and has all it takes to become a city.
"We are really wondering why our town, Masaka, which has all the qualifications to become a city, was not considered among the first new cities," he said
The Kabaka promised to consult experts in urban planning to know the criteria that was used to deny Masaka a city status.
This comes after Cabinet excluded Masaka from a list of five municipalities that will become cities in July, 2020. The cities in the first lot are; Mbarara, Fort Portal, Jinja, Gulu and Arua.
According to government's plan, Masaka will instead be considered in 2023 in the fourth phase of creating new cities together with other town such as Nakasongola, Moroto, Wakiso, and Soroti.
The Kabaka also criticised security agencies for failing to crackdown thugs terrorising villages in Masaka and other areas across the country.
"We feel concerned when we see such incidents [rampant killings] happen, in some areas like here in Masaka, they [killers] first issue leaflets and warn their targets, but the suspects are not apprehended," the Kabaka said.
He asked leaders to pay more attention to the security of our people and screen those they give guns.
This is the second time in a month the Kabaka is criticising security personnel.
During the closure of the women conference in Kampala organised by his wife Sylvia Nagginda last month, the Kabaka said security services were on the verge of losing trust of citizens due to rising crime in the country. The Masaka Resident District Commissioner, Mr Herman Ssentongo, said the area is relatively peaceful and attacks by machete-wielding thugs are no longer common.
Rev Henry Katumba Tamale, the Bishop of West Buganda Diocese, who led the service, prayed for the Kabaka to lead his subjects with love and foster development in the kingdom.
"Your Majesty, we have managed to make some progress in the few years I have been here and this is because of the enormous support I get from all people in this area regardless of their religious inclinations," he said.
Kabaka is on a four-day visit in Masaka which ends today [Tuesday] by visiting fistula patients at Kitovu Hospital.
At the weekend, he presided over the 2019 edition of Buganda Masaza Royal Regatta race at Nabugabo Sand Beach on Saturday. Buddu County, which comprises nine districts of Greater Masaka won their maiden royal regatta championship.
Kabaka also launched an HIV prevention campaign for fishing communities under the theme "Men for Good Health and Ending Aids by 2013".
Yesterday, the Kabaka was scheduled to visit various clan headquarters located in the sub-counties of Buwunga, Kyanamukkaka and Mukungwe in Masaka.
In Buganda, Mengo palace is the only official palace and it is considered the capital of the kingdom. However, Kabaka Mutebi has a right to own his private palace apart from the official palace at Mengo.
Some of the private palaces include; Bamunanika in Luweero, Lukunyu in Kyotera, Nkoni palace in Lwengo, which were built by Ssekabaka Edward Muteesa II, Banda and Kireka and these were built by Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II.