Kasese, Uganda | NOW THEN DIGITAL — The Rwenzururu kingdom is set to transform the dilapidated palace of Obusinga Bwa Rwenzururu, situated on Kibanzanga road in Kasese Town, into a museum, according to the kingdom’s Prime Minister, Mr Joseph Kule Muranga. This decision follows the return of Omusinga, the king, to Kasese district last week after a nearly seven-year imprisonment since his arrest in 2016, during which a raid led to the loss of lives and destruction of the palace.
The prime minister explained that turning the palace into a museum is both a strategic move and a cultural necessity, as Rwenzururu culture forbids the king from revisiting a site where blood was shed. The museum would not only preserve artifacts but also stand as a permanent reminder of the tragic events of 2016. Additionally, it could serve as a tourist destination and a revenue-generating asset for the cultural institution.
The government has secured land in Kasese Town for the construction of a new palace at a cost of Shs150 million. Architectural designs for the new palace have been approved, and construction is set to commence, overseen by the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) engineering brigade. In the meantime, office spaces will be constructed on the same land.
Ms Jovia Mbambu, the Kasese District tourism officer, emphasized that transforming the Buhikira Royal Palace into a museum would significantly boost tourism offerings in the district, aligning with the concept of dark tourism, which delves into regions with a history of tragedy. She believed that the museum could play a vital role in educating people about conflict prevention and promoting peace, not only in the Kasese District but also across the entire Rwenzori Sub-region.
Mr Johnication Muhindo, the team leader at Creations Forum Afrika-CAF, highlighted the potential of the museum to serve as a peace center, offering training and education to prevent conflicts and resolve differences effectively. He viewed the museum as a creative approach to fostering sustainable peace in a community that has long suffered from conflict.