UGANDA: Museum operators petition Parliament

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Speaker Kadaga (C) with the two members from UCOMA
By :
POU

KAMPALA – The Uganda Community Museums Association (UCOMA) has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to expedite the amendment of the 1967 Historical Monument Bill that is outdated.

The Chairperson of UCOMA who led the team, Abraham Kitaulwa said that the 65 privately owned museums were closed down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and they did not have any law that governs them.

“The 1967 Act is outdated and keeps referring to only the Uganda Museum. We are not under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities neither are we under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development,” Kitaulwa said.

He added that building the capacity of private museums is the most sustainable Covid-19 recovery intervention.

The Speaker of the Association, Mubiru Kalenge said that since they are not sure which Ministry they belong to, they were omitted in the private sector funds that government is to provide.

“The Government of Uganda is considering acquiring US$43.1million loan from the Private Sector (Enterprise) Development. They only considered the Uganda Museum and left out all the other private museums,” he said.

Kalenga added that most of their income is from schools during the first and second terms when they come to the visit the museums.

“On a good day, we can have 600 students each paying shs5,000 and this is how we have been surviving. We took loans from money lenders after receiving numerous bookings from schools. Shortly after, the President directed that schools are closed and now the money lenders are taking away some artefacts in order to recover their money,” Kalenga added.

The Speaker said that before they can get some money to improve their museums, there was need to refine some policies so that they can get a Ministry where they belong.

“This is a policy issue; the entertainers, museum owners and designers all don’t have a home ministry. We are going to pursue this and find a home and someone responsible who can represent you even in Cabinet,” Kadaga said.

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