Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom has condemned the attack on Ssemwema cultural site situated on Bikakate Hill in Kakumiro district.
Ssememwa Cultural Site is known for trenches which were used by the legendary great King Kateboha who reigned in the 14th century AD during the Bachwezi Dynasty in the Great Bunyoro Kitara Empire. The trenches were also used to guard against enemies from gaining entry into the King’s Palace which was located in the same area.
It surrounds the primordial Semwemwa caves, located on top of Bikakate hill just half a kilometre from Munsa trenches were also used as hiding places for King Kateboha. Some parliamentary sessions for Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom were held inside the Semwema caves during the reign of the Bachwezi.
On Sunday evening, believers of The faith of Unity founded by Owobusobozi Bisaka locally known as Abahereza stormed and burnt down the cultural site. A section of believers dressed in white tunic attacked the caves and burnt down what they termed as fetishes saying a lot of evil witchcraft activities take place at the cultural site.
The incident triggered confusion between the Kingdom Subjects and the Faith of Unity believers. Trouble started after the cultural site wardens armed with spears and pangas blocked the believers from accessing the site.
Police led by Kakumiro District Police Commander Najjib Waiswa attempted to quell down the chaos in vain until the intervention of UPDF soldiers from Kabamba barracks in Mubende district.
Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom Prime Minister Andrew Byakutaga has condemned the invasion of the cultural site describing it as regrettable. He says that the Kingdom has dispatched a special team to verify the degree of the destruction and thereafter take legal action against Bisaka and his believers.
He says Semwema is a cultural, historical and archaeological site that has been preserved for hundreds of years adding that it has caves and a hill where people go for tourism and cultural festivals.
“We are hoping for nothing less than justice and prosecution of perpetrators of heinous acts that have been carried out on our cultural site,” Byakutaga said. Byakutaga warned the Faith of Unity believers and their leaders to refrain from engaging in acts that may provoke the kingdom or subjects of the King.
By press time Uganda Peoples Defence Forces-UPDF and the police were still deployed at the burnt cultural site to prevent any fresh clashes that could erupt between the faith of Unity believers and Kingdom subjects.
Julius Hakiza, the Albertine
region police spokesperson says the heavy deployment is meant to protect peace
and lives of people.