Mparo Royal Tombs To Get Another Facelift

3468 Views Hoima, Uganda

In short
Mparo Royal Tombs in Hoima Municipality are to get a major cultural enrichment and facelift. Mparo, the official burial site for Bunyoro Kitara Kings, is located in Mparo village Mparo Division, 3km on the Hoima-Masindi road.

Mparo Royal Tombs in Hoima Municipality are to get a major cultural enrichment and facelift.
 
Mparo, the official burial site for Bunyoro Kitara Kings is located in Mparo village Mparo Division, 3km on the Hoima-Masindi road. The burial site contains a tomb of Bunyoro’s great ruler, Omukama Kabalega Cwa II and that of his son, Sir Tito Winyi Gafabusa.
 
Kabalega ruled Bunyoro from 1870 to 1899, when the British captured and exiled him. He died in 1923. Sir Winyi, on the other hand, reigned from 1924 until the abolition of kingdoms in 1967, four years before his death.
 
Mparo is also a resting place for several other royals in Bunyoro. The area is not only a tourist site in Bunyoro, but also a sacred place where people go to pay homage to the former kings and also seek blessings.
 
With the abolition of Kingdoms in 1967, this royal burial ground was left without care, the reason for its dire state until 2008 when the Uganda People’s Defense Forces rehabilitated it. The soldiers re-constructed the tombs and replaced the old reed fence with a strong perimeter wall.
 
The soldiers also rehabilitated a well near Mparo, believed to have been Kabalega's official water source. Although it is not long ago after the tombs were rehabilitated, kingdom officials say they are now planning a major facelift and cultural enrichment for the burial site.
 
Apollo Rwamparo, the Bunyoro Kingdom minister for tourism, says the facelift will involve mainly enriching the site with the required cultural assets and designs befitting an important cultural site of Mparo’s status. Rwamparo says the facelift will not be about modernizing the site, but rather turning it more cultural.
 
According to Rwamparo, the Mparo royal tombs, is a major tourism potential for the kingdom. He reveals however, that the site has not performed well in terms of attracting tourists, simply because it is not well protected and promoted. He says a cabinet sub-committee will be instituted to consult and determine what new components to add on the site, and later draw a budget.
 
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The kingdom targets to raise the money for the project through donations from central government, kingdom friends and subjects.
 
Hajji Bruhan Kyokuhaire, the Bunyoro Kingdom minister for culture, says Mparo royal tombs, is a backbone to Bunyoro’s culture, which needs to be preserved for future generations.
 
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The proposed changes come at a time when Bunyoro Kingdom cabinet has approved Kabalega Memorial Day, a day to be marked annually in memory of Omukama Kabalega.
 
Kabalega is remembered for his military adventures, courage in the battlefield and ambition to expand Bunyoro-Kitara kingdom. He won several victories against the British, until he was captured in 1899 and exiled to the Seychelles for 24 years.
 
Kabalega's tomb at Mparo is covered by a grass-thatched roof supported by a circular stonewall, while the inside, is covered by a stretched cow hide and surrounded by all the treasured artifacts that were used by King Kabalega during his reign. In 2009, Kabalega was declared a national hero and given a medal posthumously. The medal was received by his grandson and reigning Bunyoro King Solomon Gafabusa Iguru.