Buganda Lost Dev’t Opportunities by Trashing Nsibambi, Nkoyoyo Ideas-Nankabirwa

The Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa has lamented the lost opportunity for development and economic power when former Prime Minister, the late Apollo Nsibambi’s advice on amending the Land Act was rejected.

Nsibambi and the late Archbishop Livingstone Mpalanyo Nkoyoyo, had proposed plans on how Mengo would use its land to generate incomes if the law was amended. Among the proposals were turning the palace at Mengo into a tourist facility complete with hotels and an airstrip for tourists.

However, when a report was read in the Lukiiko in 2007 that Nkoyoyo had cautioned the then Buganda Prime Minister Emmanuel Sendawula on officials who were inciting Baganda against the Land Act amendments, hell broke loose.

Two Million Shillings that Nsibambi donated to Mengo towards the development of Mutesa 1 University was returned to him. He later donated it to Uganda Christian University owned by the Church of Uganda.

Speaking at the first Archbishop Livingstone Nkoyoyo Memorial Lecture at the Church of Uganda Martyrs site, Nankabirwa said Nkoyoyo’s ideas were a treasure and partnering with Prof Nsibambi presented a great opportunity for Buganda.

Nankabirwa, who represented President Museveni hailed the developments taking place at the site, and pledged government continued support especially to the tourism development plans.

The projects being undertaken after the Martyrs museum include a primary school which is nearing completion, an amphitheater to be used during ceremonies and a church.

However, Nankabirwa said the planned church is too small and that it should be redesigned to cater for the growing Christian population and the growing visibility of the site generally.

She says that so far, they have spent 21 billion shillings on the completed and ongoing projects, with the amphitheater alone expected to cost up to 37 billion shillings.

Bishop Jackson Matovu, the Archbishop chairperson, said they expect the amphitheater to house the main martyrs’ day celebration on June 3 this year, having completed the more complex museum, which he says has taken a lot of resources.

Dr Nkoyoyo, who died in 2018 was the brain child of the development of the site and most of the current projects going on, especially the idea to turn it into a tourist site.

Nankabirwa asked the church, the Uganda Tourism Board and the government to find a way of developing the sites into globally known religious tourism attractions like the Taj Mahal of India and Mecca Pilgrim site in Saudi Arabia.

In his recorded keynote address, local hospitality industry investor, Amos Wekesa, said if only Uganda increased the marketing budget for tourism, there is no reason why the country would not be strong in the global tourism industry.

NRM Vice Chairman Mike Mukula used the opportunity to rally support for the incoming Martyrs’ Day in June, which is being organized by the dioceses in Eastern Uganda, especially in form of money and other donations.

He said while Nkoyoyo’s idea was turning the place into a tourist site, it has helped a lot in ensuring that Christians, especially Anglicans recognize the importance of the site to their spiritual growth.

Archbishop Samuel Kaziimba-Mugalu described Nkoyoyo as first of all someone who cherished love for all and did not discriminate in any way along religious lines.

This according to Kaziimba is one of the reasons he was loved back by people of all religions.

He cited the example of the Send-A-Cow project where people were given heifers as startup capital and against complaints from some Anglicans, the requirements for benefiting from the project did not include religion on any other discriminatory aspects.

To him, the church has so far done well to take on the legacy of Nkoyoyo and urged all leaders to honor him by doing what he would have wanted to do.

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