The restoration of the monarchies by the NRM government was one of the biggest achievements of our time, President Yoweri Museveni said in a message read at the 24th coronation anniversary of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi of Buganda.
The speech which highlights the significance of the return of traditional kingdoms in 1993 was delivered by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda on July 31 at a function held at Buwekula.
Museveni asserts that given Kingdoms are much older than the political unit-Uganda; their role in the history of Uganda is, therefore, of great importance.
“Despite its turbulent history; a history of struggle for identity, independence and a decent livelihood for her people, the Buganda Kingdom has stood the test of time. It is one the oldest kingdoms in the Great Lakes region and it is significant in the history of our nation and, indeed, our region,” reads the speech.
Museveni, in the same statement commended the Kabaka for his work towards developing the kingdom and his exceptional leadership.
“Your Highness, I commend your good leadership and partnership with government in ensuring that the people support government programs for peace and development. I want to appreciate you for the work you are doing to build, guide and administer the kingdom,” Museveni said.
He added, “This day gives us a chance to remind ourselves of our heritage, with the view to preserve and promote our culture and to teach, especially the young generation. We are able to receive counsel and wisdom from our elders and most importantly take stock in light of how far we have gone not only in promoting the cultural institution but also the general improvement of our peoples’ welfare.”
The president also called upon traditional leaders to keep on supporting the maintenance of Ugandan culture, especially preservation of languages.
“The traditional leaders should continue to help us in ensuring that our languages and cultures are preserved. Our vernaculars must be preserved because they are rich and unique. The young generation must be taught to speak in their local languages for posterity purposes. It is a shame to find someone saying they cannot communicate in their native language. In the wake of globalization, we must be careful about some of these things because we can run a risk of losing our identity. We have our numerous customs regarding marriage, etiquette and the rich social philosophy encapsulated in the proverbs of our vernaculars,” he said.
Museveni vowed to go on backing the kingdom in whatever endeavors they will be undertaking, further lauding the queen of Buganda for showcasing exceptional commitment to culture.
“Government, therefore, assures Your Highness and all people of Buganda of our total support in all the endeavors aimed at preserving your cultural heritage and developing the kingdom. Your Highness, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Nnabagereka of Buganda for exhibiting remarkable devotion to culture and focusing on uplifting the standard of living of our people. Many people have benefited from her charitable programs.”
The NRM opened the door of restoring traditional cultural institutions having been attacked and abolished during the political upheavals of 1966-1967.