Seated on a quiet hill called Mengo in Kampala Uganda is one of Ugandas’ remarkable establishments, the Royal palace of the kabaka of Buganda.
Mengo has been the main palace since it was first constructed in 1885 by Kabaka Mwanga II of Buganda, the 31st Kabaka of Buganda. Measuring 0.9 square miles the palace is ringed by a six-foot brick fence and has a small airstrip within its walls.
Mengo Hill has played an important role in Ugandan political and religious history. “Mengo” is a Luganda word for grinding stones. According to legend, ancient migrant communities from the Ssese Islands who settled on the hill used these stones to grind their food and it is alleged that whenever locals wanted to refer to the hill, they would often say that please take me to the hill that produces emengo to mean grinding stones. It is here that the Buganda Agreement of 1900 was signed between the then Kabaka of Buganda and British colonial officials establishing Uganda a British Protectorate.
Buganda as a kingdom dates back to more than 1800 years and it has survived a lot of trials making it one of the most thriving monarchs in Africa.
Queen Asianut Acom II from Jamaica, Q. M. Prof. ChenziraRa Davis Kahina from the Virgin Islands of America and Chief Arley Salimbi Gill were the AIDO Diaspora Royals who paid a courtesy visit to this remarkable establishment, having a chance to explore a little bit of Ugandas’ dark history!
The royals were treated to a tour around the infamous Idi Amin torture chambers established in the year 1971 to act as armory for ammunition and cell for the Milton Obote then colonel Idi Amin Dada.
The cave had tunnels and electric fences that whoever tried to escape would be instantly electrocuted.