Gov't to document historic sites, promote religious tourism

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Gov't to document historic sites, promote religious tourism
The meeting at Old Kampala

The government has announced plans to document significant historic sites, including the routes traversed by early Arab and Swahili merchants from the East African Coast to the Indian Ocean shores.

One of the sites to be documented is the Gaddafi National Mosque at Old Kampala.

Bernadette Bazirake, a senior tourism officer at the Ministry of Tourism, shared this information during a courtesy call on Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje, the mufti of Uganda, at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council headquarters in Old Kampala.

These sites not only hold historical importance but also commemorate the early natives who were martyred for embracing foreign religions, namely Islam and Christianity.

Bazirake explained that the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with faith-based groups under the Inter-religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), has initiated a project to document all these historic sites.

The aim is to promote and develop religious tourism within Uganda and beyond.

Filming for the project began on March 11, starting with three martyr sites representing the major religions at Namugongo.

It will then move on to the landing sites where the first Arabs from Oman and white Christian missionaries docked on the shores of Lake Victoria at Munyonyo, Mulungu, during their journey from Tanganyika (present-day Tanzania) to the Buganda Kingdom.

Another site filmed was Nateete, the location of the second mosque built after the one erected by King Mutesa I.

This mosque, constructed by Yahaya Ssekyeru, an early Muslim convert, and the Mugema, head of the Buganda Nkima (Monkey Clan), holds historical significance as the place where sixty Arabs and a significant number of native Muslims were burned alive during the religious wars of 1888.

Numerous other historic sites were also documented, including Wamala Tombs, Kasubi Mosque, Kijungute in Kyankwanzi District, Mende Kalema Royal Tombs, Kibuli Mosque, Kawempe Mbogo, and many more.

Sheikh Mubaje welcomed this initiative and concluded the visit by presenting Bazirake with a copy of the UMSC Constitution, expressing support for the project.

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