Wednesday April 30 2014

Kibuli Mutajazi: A bush that turned into a city suburb

Hajji Sulaiman Birimuzeyi’s house. His nickname (Mutajazi) turned out to be

Hajji Sulaiman Birimuzeyi’s house. His nickname (Mutajazi) turned out to be the name of one of the popular suburbs in Kampala. Photo by Racheal Ajwang  


When you look at the recent developments in Kibuli Mutajazi, you cannot imagine that it was a bushy place in the 80s and only two families of the late Badru Kakungulu and Sulaiman Birimuzeyi were living there.
But despite its remote background, Kibuli Mutajazi is the heart of Kibuli which is why when you board a taxi from the Old Taxi Park to Kibuli; they ask you if you are going to Kibuli Mutajazi or Kisugu and then Muwayire.

The name Mutajazi was adopted from Hajji Sulaiman Birimuzeyi who was a staunch Muslim man. He died at the age of 69. Mutajazi was his nick name.

Hajji Birimuzeyi came from Zanzibar at the age of 17, the name Mutajazi was adopted from a word he commonly used whenever he ordered for coffee as a young man. “He used to say, “I don’t want utajaza a Swahili word which means “I don’t want a half cup of coffee.” So people started referring to him as Mutajazi because they could not pronounce the word utajaza and since he lived in that area that is how it got its name.

Mutajazi is found in Makindye division, Makindye parish led by MP Sam Simbwa and Ian Clarke as their LC three or division mayor.
The area is surrounded by Kabalagala, Muyenga, Nsambya, Namuwongo and the Industrial Area.

The LC1 chairman, Mutaasa Kata, says there have been more improvements in the areas. Kibuli Mutajazi is a muslim dominated area.

People claim this is because it is where the father of muslims, the late Prince Badru Noah Kakungulu who was buried at the Kibuli mosque, used to stay. His family still remains at this place.

He adds that initially, Mutajazi was a deserted place but with time, there have been a number of developments like infrastructure and these include Kibuli Mosque, Kibuli Hospital, Kibuli Teacher’s College, plus primary and secondary schools and the Islamic University in Uganda Kampala campus is also in this area.

Community setup
Mr Kata adds that there are many tribes in Mutajazi, “You find Baganda, Banyankole, Lugbara, Nubians ,Sudanese and Somalis living here but most of them are tenants.

He adds that although Mutajazi is in the suburbs of Kampala, it is a slum with a poor drainage system whose impact is felt when it rains. The estimated total population is over 3000 people. Mutajazi is divided into three villages of Kibuli A,B and C which are all highly populated. The area and businesses like mechanical engineering which is the most prominent work. This explains why there are many garages in the area.

“The crime rate in Mutajazi is very low but whenever we get cases, we refer them to Kisugu police station and Kabalagala police station,” Mr Kata explains.