Word reaching our editorial desk indicates that a fire has gutted one of the structures inside the Kasubi Royal Tombs in Kampala.
In a video that this website had access to, the Uganda Police Fire Brigade is seen putting out the fire from one of the huts in the tombs enclosure.
Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson SP Patrick Onyango confirmed the incident. He added that the Directorate of Fire and Rescue Services quickly put it out.
“The fire broke out at around 1300 hours in one of the structures. It was metres away from the main tomb but police were informed and four fire tenders were dispatched to professionally handle the incident,” Onyango said.
Onyango however said the cause of the fire was not established and that investigations into the same had already started.
“The extent of the damage is yet to be computed. We appeal to member of the public to be calm as we investigate the incident,” Onyango added.
Later Buganda Kingdom officials issued a clarification that this particular house is hundreds of metres away from Muzibu-Azaala-Mpanga which is the main mausoleum at Kasubi Royal Tombs.
It is being reconstructed following the March 2010 fire. The media were today allowed to access part of the Kasubi Royal Tombs to ascertain the extent of the fire and accordingly inform the people of Buganda.
The affected structures are described as the, “three deity houses (Ennyumba z’Abalongo). The deity (Abalongo) were protected during this period and none was destroyed during this fire outbreak.”
The tombs are the burial grounds for members of the Buganda royal family and remain an important spiritual and political site for the kingdom.
They became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in December 2001.
This will be the second time that the tombs catch fire following the first outbreak on March 16, 2010 when a fire destroyed them with the cause still unknown.