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Masaka Diocese Finally Relocates Remains from Ancient Cemetery

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Reverend Fr. Deusdedit Luyimbaazi, the Estates Manager Masaka diocese, says that when they called for relatives of the deceased to participate in the exhumation process, only two families came up and showed interest in relocating the remains of their relatives to their ancestral burial grounds.
A tractor clearing the route for Nyendo-Cathedral road whose construction has begun. The road led to cutting of ancient trees and demolition of part of a Cemetary

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The remains of at least eight people have finally been exhumed from the old cemetery of Masaka diocese and relocated to new burial grounds to pay the way for road construction works. The cemetery, which sits next to Masaka diocesan Cathedral at Kitovu in Masaka city was opened in 1906.  

On Wednesday, close to a dozen men armed with hand hoes and pickle axes dug up graves in the cemetery under tight security to clear the route for the proposed Nyendo-Cathedral to Kitovu Hospital road.

The men who preferred not to be named for fear of public ridicule and demonization told Uganda Radio Network that they were hired by Masaka diocesan authorities to do the work after relatives of some of the deceased declined to relocate the remains by themselves when called upon. 

According to the men, the Church did not want the graves exhumed by excavators hence choosing to hire a team that would handle the remains with decency.  The cemetery is a burial ground for hundreds of people including religious, highly devoted Catholics and unclaimed bodies.

Reverend Fr. Deusdedit Luyimbaazi, the Estates Manager Masaka diocese, says that when they called for relatives of the deceased to participate in the exhumation process, only two families came up and showed interest in relocating the remains of their relatives to their ancestral burial grounds. 

He explains that besides the remains of the two people who are going to be carried away, the others will be relocated into other graves on the other end of the cemetery, which will not be affected by the road works.  

According to Fr. Luyimbazi, before they undertook the exhumation they secured court permission, especially on the remains that are unclaimed, adding that the relocation was unavoidable because of the location of the graves within the planned road, which is of great benefit to both the Church and the general community. 

//Cue in: “we know how….  

Cue out; …..in this cemetery.”// 

Luganda 

//Cue in: “abantunabalabye….

Cue out; ….ssiwalintaana.”//  

At the sideways of the cemetery, there was a group of four people who were witnessing the process of opening up the graves. These were dressed in the traditional Kiganda tunic, a pair of gourds containing local brew, and armed with backcloths waiting to receive the remains of their relatives. Besides the graves, the new 4.6 kilometers road design also affected several indigenous trees on the road to the Cathedral.