On my way to Lusanja, I had a lot in mind, I was wondering how far the place could be, how much I was going to be charged and all those sorts of things. Because I didn’t want to get lost, I took the front seat in the taxi so I could speak to the driver directly. With all that was going on through my mind, I asked him if he knew a place called Lusunju near Mpererwe , he told me there was no place called Lusunju but that there was a Busunju, which is located on Hoima road after Kakiri.
I wanted to cancel the journey thinking I was lost. The taxi stopped at the roundabout at Kalerwe where I asked boda boda riders. They also didn’t know Lusunju. The boda boda then took me to Mpererwe where I asked another boda boda rider. Finally, someone knew where I was going. He told me it is Lusanja not Lusunju.
Lusanja is located a few kilometres from Mpererwe trading centre in Kawempe Division. It is bordered by Kisaasi to the east, Kanyanya to the south and Kawempe to the west. When I reached Lusanja, I noticed a quiet place which the residents described as a trading centre, with a few business buildings. These were hardware shops, a small supermarket and people who had stalls, selling food stuffs.
According to an old man only identified as Taata Isma, many people confuse Lusanja, Mpererwe and Kiteezi thinking they are all in one place. He explains that these are three different places, only that they are very small places which are close to each other.
Lusanja is the smallest place of all, it is not commonly known to many people as the other two places Mpererwe and Kiteezi are.
An unclear origin
Gladys Namwanje, a 65-year-old who runs a restaurant in Lusanja, the name of the place has always been Lusanja though no one has any evidence of how it came to be called that. “I was born in Lusanja but up to now I still don’t know where the name came from,” she says.
Taata Isma backs Namwanje saying he has never heard any tales attached to the name. All he knows is that it has always been called Lusanja.
Namwanje says Lusanja has had some development over the years although this has been at a slow pace. Initially, most of the place was bushy before people started coming in to construct houses.
The most notable supermarket is Florida supermarket. Lusanja also boasts of health facilities like New Hope Medical Centre and other small pharmacies.
There don’t seem to be any secondary schools in Lusanja, most of the schools are kindergartens, nursery and primary ones. These include Lusanja Progressive Nursery and Primary school, Covenant Angel Kindergarten and Grace Nursery School.
There is also one major church known as Faith Centre Church of all Nations, which is an inter-faith place of worship.
According to Godfrey Kilembwe a youth who stays in Kitezi, Lusanja is a boring place. “You just have to get used to it, we only have one bar that we can hang out at when we feel we are getting bored, and the other places are in Mpererwe which is a bit far.
Security is in the hands of the police according to an officer who says the patrol unit is in charge of the area from Mpererwe to Lusanja. He says the crime rates are low as they have not experienced heavy crimes like murder. He adds that the most common cases are petty theft and burglary, though they are rare.
For now, Lusanja is still mostly farmland with a few houses here and there although some residents say people from the city are always scouting the area, looking for land so that they can have their homes in a place free from the city’s congestion.