Buganda Kingdom has created a board to oversee the redevelopment of Mengo Palace and make use of the 250 acres of land on which the palace sits.
Buganda Kingdom Premier Charles Peter Mayiga introduced the board to the public on Wednesday.
The board members include Francis Kamulegeya as the Chairperson and his members being William Matovu, Godfrey Kaaya Kavuma, William Luwaga Kamanyi, Kabuye Kiwanuka an architect, Rowland Sebuufu, Namugera Kakeeto, Hope Mukasa and Betty Kajubi Mugoye.
Mayiga says the board, appointed by Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, will embark on consultations among the Kingdom’s subjects on how and what should be established in the Palace under projects to promote development.
Mayiga says the board has been instructed to source for suggestions for development projects that will not taint the historical significance of the palace and the grounds.
Francis Kamulegeya, the board chairperson, notes that the Mengo Palace sits on prime land which can easily attract investment.
Kamulegeya believes that if the land is well utilised, it could help the kingdom address social challenges its subjects face in terms of health access, education and provide meaningful employment. He also adds that the site could be further developed to enhance its tourism potential.
After its consultations, the board will compile a report and make recommendations to the Kingdom, these will be presented to the Buganda Premier Mayiga who will brief other segments of the Kingdom including the Kabaka for adoption or amendments.
In the past, a board of members including the retired Archbishop Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, Levy Zimbe, the late Edward Nsubuga and Late Kiyimba Kaggwa was set up to do the same consultative work and it made two reports to the Kingdom with recommendations.
Unfortunately, the two reports recommendations were never followed up. The new board has received these two reports and will use them to chart a way forward.
Mengo Palace is the official palace of the Kabaka of Buganda and was established in 1885 by Sekabaka Mwanga and it was also then that the concept of the Kingdom’s capital at Mengo started.
The palace was partly damaged during what has come to be known as the 1966 Buganda Crisis when government troops stormed its grounds ostensibly looking for subversive elements.