In the traditions of Buganda Kingdom, King or Queens have a special sites reserved to bury their remains inform of Tomb. There are currently about 56 Royal tombs including those that contain former Princes and Princesses. One of the phenomenal sites you can visit while on a Safari in Uganda is the Tomb that houses the remains of King Kiweewa Mutebi. However, most of the Royal Tombs in Buganda Kingdom remain in sorry states because of little of no maintenance while others have reduced in size because the land that surround them have been sold, hence leaving only the Tombs.
Kabaka Kiweewa Royal Tombs are one of the abandoned and threatened cultural sites in Uganda. The most unfortunate thing is that the Royal Tombs are not visited by tourists. This site has always been a Center of controversy over demarcation of the land surrounding it. When you visit the Tombs, you will find that only 100 feet remains of the original 2 square miles of the former Kabaka Kiweewa’s Palace.
King Kiweewa was at the throne for just 90 days (three months) before he was assassinated by his own brother-Kabaka Mwanga after he had combined forces with his Muslim counterpart known as “Nooh Mbogo” during the massive religious wars that engulfed Buganda Kingdom in the 1880s. It is believed that the locals around the area get revelations from Kabaka Kiweewa when they visit to pray to him.
Kabaka Kiweewa Royal tombs are found within Masanafu, about three Kilometers from the main Sentema road in Wakiso district and are characterized by unmaintained compound and unfinished house structures. There are no strong fences and gates to protect the site from trespassers and worst of all, several routes to homes of locals have been created across the former King’s Palace. It’s even unfortunate that most locals within the area don’t even know where the Tombs are found. For the past years, the Royal Tombs have been a Center of disputes over demarcation issues. It is said that many people go to the area claiming to be descendants of King Kiweewa and yet are imposters who are only interested in grabbling the land. It is sad that even Real Estate Companies and dealers are the leading intruders into the Tombs
The blame of land encroachment around the Tombs has however been put on the Mengo-based Kingdom for neglecting the issues regarding the sale of the land at which the cultural site is found. Nonetheless, it is not too late to reverse the trend since a number of Princes and princesses as well as well wishers always visit the site and evict intruders who have constructed homes around the Royal Tombs. Otherwise if nothing is done, this site will just remain as history in books and words but with no physical evidence of the once important Cultural Site.
Kiweewa Tombs are located in Masanafu in the suburbs of Kampala. You can get there with a rental car from one of the local agencies listed here. If you are in need of a guided tour, you can check out Day Trips Uganda for a fascinating trip.
In conclusion, the Royal Tomb of Kiweewa Mutebi is one of the significant cultural sites in Buganda Kingdom because it allows tourists to learn about a King who ruled for only 90 days before being overthrown by his brother Kabaka Mwanga. However, the site has been abandoned and the size of the land has greatly reduced.