Despite its historical and cultural importance to Uganda, Mpumwire Hill is one of those places that has not received the attention it deserves.
Situated about 80 kilometers east of Kampala, Mpumwire Hill takes its name from the Chwa II Kabalega’s last words of the legendary king of the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom – Mpumwire (which means “I have rested” in Runyoro) – before his death on April 6, 1923.
On a recent visit in Mpumwire Village it took almost 30 minutes to find the place where King Kabalega died as there is no signpost; Worse, the people who live there don’t know about it.
It was just a Boda Boda driver pointing to a small hill that rose gently nearby.
“Every now and then King of Busoga visits this place and performs some rituals there,” said the Boda Boda cyclist.
To get to the actual place where King Kabalega died, you have to pass a cassava farm. The monument is just a cairn in an overgrown bush.
The stones were collected and piled here by locals from Butembe – one of the chiefs of the Busoga Kingdom – on the orders of their chief after the king’s death.< /p>
King Kabalega is said to have shown great respect.
“The royal family of Busoga dates back to Bunyoro and King Kabalega is considered our grandfather,” said Andrew Ntange, The Spokesman for the Kingdom of Busoga.
Today, many people from Busoga, including the royal family, believe that there are spiritual forces on Mpumwire Hill.
“People come and pray here because that is where the grandfather of Busoga is died. In fact, many people still profess to perform miracles at this site,” said Mr. Ntange.
Mpumwire Hill is so sacred in Busoga that it was the coronation site when kingdoms were restored in Uganda in the 1990s were for Kyabazinga Henry Wako Muloki. The current king, William Gabula Nadiope IV, was also crowned here.