Wednesday March 14 2018

Masanafu residents in charge of own security


By Roland D. Nasasira

Masanafu is located approximately nine kilometers from Kampala City Centre. The journey there will take you 20 to 40 minutes depending on whether you are travelling by public or private means.

A journey in a commuter taxi will cost you Shs1,000 from Masanafu to the city centre and approximately Shs1,500 return fare. Masanafu is located strategically few metres from the Kampala Northern Bypass, and also few metres from Masaka Road.

When you compare Masanafu with its neighbourhood suburbs such as Busega, the latter has a number of commercial buildings while the former has almost the same commercial structures, some of which are old and in a sorry state. Most of the commercial structures in Masanafu, if not all, are built in the same shape.

Samuel Muhwezi, a resident, says when he settled in Masanafu, a few residents owned big plots of land. However, as the area started developing with a number of social amenities and businesses and more people started migrating there, the few residents who owned land started partitioning it into very small plots for sale.

This, however, he recalls was mostly driven by the need for money by the then landlords and also the fact that the land was idle and less developed.

“At that time, people made sure that while building, their houses were big enough to almost cover the entire plot. Even when a developer wanted to buy land to build bigger structures, they would not succeed because the initial land owners preferred selling part of their land in small pieces. That is why you see a lot of small residential and commercial houses that were built without proper planning,”Muhwezi, who is also a businessman in the area, explains.

Cost of rent and land
Although Masanafu is near the city centre which would most likely push the cost of rent high, it is instead affordable. This also partly explains why the area is densely populated with a beehive of activities going onincluding carpentry, food stalls, boutiques, betting houses and salons, among others.

Renting a single roomed house at Masanafu, Jimmy Wagaba, a broker, says costs between Shs
50,000 and Shs100,000. This, he reveals, is determined by the house’s distance from the road and other amenities such as power and water connection. A double room house ranges between Shs150,000 and Shs200,000.

“The more distant a house is from the road, the cheaper and affordable it becomes for rent because it means a tenant will have to spend more money on transport and this is factored into negotiations with the potential landlord,” Wagaba says.

While renting double roomed commercial houses at Masanafu is approximately between Shs300,000 to Shs400,000, renting a residential house with atleast three bedrooms is between Shs400,000 to Shs500,000 but this is determined by whether it is surrounded by a perimeter wall or not.

“Land for sale in the area is scarce. The few residents who have small plots left are not willing to sell because the asking price is too high that it instead scares away potential buyers,” Wagaba says.