Ugandan cultural rights campaigners are fighting hard to stop the demolition of Uganda’s only National Museum.

Today the Historic Resources Conservation Initiatives (HRCI), Cross Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU), Historic Buildings Conservation Trust (HBCT) and JENGA AFRICA filed a case against government against the demolition of Uganda National Museum.

The demolition is supposed to give way to a 60-storey building.

The case was instituted High Court of Uganda at Kampala.  I will be bringing more voices against this sale.

Here is a call from HRCI.

 

The Uganda National Museum is to be demolished to give way to a 60-storey building which will take 30 years to complete!

The foreign affairs permanent secretary, Julius Onen, sees nothing alarming in this and says there is no need for cultural activists and politicians to be worried about the matter. It is sickening for this to come from a technocrat. If it was a politician speaking it would be understandable.

Politicians saw nothing wrong with the destruction of a large chunk of Mabira forest for sugarcane growing and they did not sober up until a few people had lost their lives!

To demolish the museum for a commercial building is ridiculous, however grand the building is expected to be.

A museum is a collection of a people’s culture, past and present and represents a people’s values, history, ethoes and thoughtforms. It is a unique identity of a people and an archive for research.

The powers that be seem to be bent on destroying every green space in Kampala and replacing it with a concrete jungle.

Even without its filth, I am sure the sight of Kampala, the capital of Uganda, cannot be flattering to many foreigners. Nobody seems to have heard of urban planning! The word ‘investment’ is so exciting that nobody seems to think twice about where to build what.

Since the grand building will take no less than 30 years, where will the museum collections be after demolishing their home?

Many of us will probably be dead! Will it be a flattering legacy for our grandchildren and great grandchildren to be told that the national museum was demolished during the tenure of the the NRM government?

If we cannot value our heritage, then we should not complain when foreigners write our history for us and tell us that River Nile was discovered by Hannington Speke! Wise counsel would dictate to leave the museum alone.

It is a shame of unimaginable proportion to even think of demolishing the museum. What moral authority will we have been left with to vilify past leaders as swine? Have we no shame?

Abigail Turinawe
Kampala