Ibanda to gazzet Galt’s Pyramid

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Stones which were piled where the blood of Harry Gald dropped after spearing him by one Rutaraka in Ibanda district

Ibanda to gazzet Galt’s Pyramid

After the former Ibanda town council and now municipal failed to gazette a pyramid in Galt’s memory, it became home for snakes up to on Monday this week when the Municipal Mayor,  Mr Deus Mulinde promised to develop and gazette the pyramid in four months.


The archieval photo of people carrying George Harry Galt from Fort Portal to Iband

Since the killing of former tax collector and the sub-commissioner of the Western Uganda province Mr. George Harry Galt on 19th May 1905, Ankole Kingdom then promised to upgrade the piled stone pyramid feature like to a tourism site but failed until the Kingdom collapsed.

Mbarara district also tried to develop the site in Galt’s memory but never met their dream.  In 2005 when Ibanda was granted a district from Mbarara they had a proposal to develop this area and make it an income generating activity but since then, they have also failed.

When Ibanda was given a town council, the former leaders like Christopher Tibanyendera Kafura, Francis Bamya, Emmanuel Kafuniza and the current leadership of Ibanda municipality led by the town clerk Justine Barekye and the mayor Deus Mulinde have had the same intention but all in vain.

Talking to the current Mayor of Ibanda municipality Mr Mulinde Deus, told our reporter that as Ibanda municipality has the idea of developing the Galt’s memory site in Katooma village in few months to
come.
“We developed the idea when we were still a town council and we still have it. It is difficult to achieve our dream since the neighbors at the site have put us n tension citing insecurity due to presence of the feature” Mulinde explained.

Mulinde added that pyramid feature is bushy and has become a home to snakes which always visit like Mwediheza who always complain of the undeveloped Galt’s memory and of recent the bees which camped in the pyramid killed the donkey of a neighbor.

The town clerk of Ibanda municipal council Mrs Justine Barekye Mulinzi had earliertold media that the pyramid was about 5 meters height but people kept on stealing stones to make concrete and since they were stopped, town council then and Ibanda municipality have hopes that one at a time, the will propose to develop the area.

Harry George Galt was a British colonial officer, working as the Sub Commissioner of the Western Province of Uganda, who was killed in Ibanda.

He was born on 28 January 1872 in Emsworth in Hampshire in Great Britain. His first assignment on arrival in the British protectorate of Uganda was as a tax collector for the Ankole Sub-region.

He was later appointed as the sub-commissioner of the Western Uganda province. He is said to have been a cruel officer who treated the local people harshly. On 19 May 1905 as the newly appointed provincial officer, Galt forced the local people to carry him on their head from Fort Portal to
Ibanda.

“When the people got tired they requested him to let them rest, but he refused and ordered them to march on until they reached Ibanda – “Paka Banda” he said in his broken Runyankore, meaning “Up to Ibanda”.

The porters complied up to Katooma, 3 km from Ibanda Town after the Kagongo Catholic Church where he stopped and rested in a Government house.

As the locals rehashed Galt’s cruelty, a man named Rutaraka got riled by the officer’s acts and he picked up a spear, headed towards Galt who was sitting in the government house compound and threw it at him
striking him in the chest.  Galt died after a short time.

The colonial government who investigated the cause of Galt’s death, thought it was politically motivated and sentenced two Ankole chiefs to death, a penalty which was later cancelled on appeal by the British
East African Court.

Fearful of colonial retribution, Rutaraka later committed suicide by hanging. Galt’s body was taken away for burial and the colonial government punished the natives by making them pile stones to cover his blood which had spilled on the ground.

They piled stones making a pyramid-like feature 5 Meters in length and 3 meters in height which stands there up to now (2017) in Galt’s memory.

A Street in Mbarara was named after him, starting from Stanley Road on Boma hill opposite the Public Library.

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