President Museveni has emphasized the need for Ugandans to promote tourism, emphasising no one can individually claim ownership of Uganda’s tourism sites because they are national assets.
The President was Saturday speaking in Kagulu Parish, Buyende District in Busoga Sub-Region, during the Kagulu Rock climbing event with the aim of promoting tourism.
The President was the principal climber, accompanied by His Highness Nadiope Wilberforce Gabula of Busoga and the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga.
“Although I have not checked the Constitution, a tourist site is declared by the Parliament and Government of Uganda and once it has been declared, you cannot say it is yours. Once we declared Rwenzori as a National Park, it was done. If you know who gave birth to this rock come and tell us. It is God who put it there,” he said.
Kagulu Rock rises to 3,600ft above sea level.
It has been a settlement of Busoga Royals after crossing Lake Kyoga from Bunyoro in the early 17th century.
It is from here that the five sons of Omukama Namutukula and his wife Nawudo; Gabula of Bugabula, Zibondo of Bulamogi, Tabingwa of Luuka, Ngobi of Kigulu and Nkono of Bukono spread to take charge of the respective chiefdoms in Busoga.
Kagulu Rock site has also been a coronation site for Bugabula Chiefdoms and now is currently one of the tourist sites in Uganda.
President Museveni noted that Kagulu Rock was a unique tourist attraction because of the adventure that it gives to those who dare to climb it and the rich cultural history that it embeds.
“I want to thank Hon Kadaga for endeavoring to promote tourism in Busoga. Busoga has tourist attractions that cannot be found anywhere. For example, the Source of River Nile is found here and the whole world should know about it,” Mr. Museveni said.
He, however, noted that while it is important for Ugandans to protect their cultural heritage, it was also essential for them to protect swamps instead of growing rice in them. He assured Busoga leaders that tourism roads would be worked on.
“We should look in the budget and see if we should focus on tourism roads as opposed to increasing salaries. We don’t want the nation to be overly indebted. We must, therefore, restrain from too much expenditure by prioritizing,” he stressed.
Mr. Museveni further said that tourism cannot help every individual and, therefore, individuals in Busoga have to engage in agriculture and follow the four acre model to alienate poverty from their homes.
While at the function, the President crowned the winners of the Busoga Miss Tourism Contest. Kitamirike Ruth was the overall winner while Mutesi Anita was the 1st runner up and Nabirye Peninah was 2nd runner up.
The President congratulated His Highness Nadiope for successfully reaching the top of the scenic Kagulu Rock. He also promised to bring milk coolers to the dairy farmers of Busoga and also to help in fighting the challenge of the water weed.