Why The Renovation Of Ankole Kingdom Palace Is Essential To Regional Tourism Development
Ankole Kingdom is among the ancient Kingdoms of Uganda that date far back to the pre-colonial era and feature considerable heritage that would by all means be of interest to the travelers on safari in Uganda.
Following the abolition of Ugandan Monarchy in the 1966 by then Prime Minister Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, Ankole like other Kingdoms of Buganda, Tooro and Bunyoro lost the control over their thrones for considerable decades.
Despite the restoration of Kingdoms in the year 1993, for unknown reasons, Ankole Kingdom was not given back its Royal drum Bagyendanwa and thus remained defunct up to today.
The heritage sites including the Royal tombs at Nkokonjeru and the Royal Palace have suffered from dilapidation beyond reasonable doubt and people including the international community sometimes on Uganda tours are not able to recognize the existence of such precious sites which is the same as the young generation of the local people themselves.
The current call from the Ankole Cultural trust and the Kingdom Prime Minister Mr. William Katatumba to the government regarding the rehabilitation of the Royal Palace should be given attention since the delay would leave the structure to face total collapse and deprive the region of its magical historical and culture tourism resource that would have added on to the tour products visited on safari in Uganda.
The Prime Minister notes that the President has for several times promised to undertake the rehabilitation of the palace but in vain.
In the year 2000, the President accepted to look in to the matter following the submission of the proposal by the then Prince Barigye John (RIP) but the Banyankole have waited in despair for all these 16 years.
The Royal palace building is positioned in Kamukuzi Division, Mbarara District and it is really touching to see the environs of this historical building act as ground for stone quarry and gardens since the land has been leased and encroached because of being under the custodianship of the local government of Mbarara other than the cultural trust itself that would easily recognize the heritage associated with this ancient palace.
The total of 5 billion Uganda Shillings is required to undertake the renovation of the Palace. Ankole features so many sites of cultural and historical significance including the ancient rocks of Nshaara, the Royal tombs at Nkokonjeru along with other Royal burial site in Ishanje, the historical site of Itaaba among others whose heritage is threatened as a result of abandonment.
Therefore, renovating the Ankole palace would be a step to developing the base of the tourism in the region and increase on the products encountered on Uganda safari tours.
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