Homes and Property
The changing face of some residential areas
Posted Wednesday, March 16 2016 at 02:00
The once well-known and sought after residential places around the city have had a face lift in recent years and have turned into commercial areas. Racheal Irene Nalubega visited some of them and she writes about the changes they have undergone
Some of the purely residential places in the 90s have now also become business hubs and these include, Ntinda, Muyenga, Bukoto and Najjera, among others. Below we explain the changes they have under gone and why.
Muyenga is one of the 15 zones in Bukasa parish, Makindye Division which has over the years retained its “rich” status.
Bukasa LC1 Chairman, Francis Mountains Nsozi says Muyenga got its name from a vernacular word “kuyenga”, which means squeeze. Apparently, there were herbal trees on the tank hill area and herbalists would squeeze these herbs and recommend the product to the sick for better health.
Nsozi says though Muyenga was remote in the 70s, it was a place of settlement for rich people who liked it for its quietness and availability of huge pieces of land.
“The rich sought out Muyenga for its serene environment away from the city centre’s noise and for the presence of enough land because the rich were interested in building houses on acres of land.”
Nsozi adds “Muyenga has always been a residential settlement and it is no doubt that it had no shops, night clubs or hotels. Residents would come with all they needed at home from the city centre.”
Muyenga is still a place for the rich but with slight improvement in the commercial sector. Some former houses are now high end hotels and restaurants.
Housing and land
Most houses in Muyenga still have the old structures. Most houses are just renovated and they still stand firm and are as good as new.
You cannot find single or two-bedroom units to rent in this part of Kampala.
Nsozi, however, says there are rare cases where families residing abroad rent out their servants quarters, which in turn, guarantees security for their property. But renting a servants’ quarter does not come cheap, it can go up to $2000 (about Shs6.7m) a month with a one-year payment advance.
There is no vacant land in the area so anyone thinking of buying land would either have to wait for the owners to sell or buy from the nearby zones where development is also fast pacing.
The popularity of Ntinda goes back to the 1980s. Gilbert Muhumuza, the village 12 LC1 Chairman, says those days, Ntinda was home to influential people such as ministers, which led to a particular village in Ntinda to be called Ministers’ Village.
He says it was named after a bridge (Lutindo) joining stretcher road and upper Ntinda and has 19 villages.
Muhumuza says Ntinda was meant for top ranking civil servants such as permanent secretaries, judges and ministers which explains the good infrastructure in the area.
However, a few years ago, the face of Ntinda started changing. It now boasts of commercial plazas and non-government organisations offices that rent former residential.
“The status of most areas in Ntinda has changed and now NGOs are renting former residential houses as offices since most of the former occupants are no longer working and the rent offered by the NGOs is a good source of income,” Muhumuza says.
Land and housing
According to Muhumuza, initially, one could rent a self-contained two room house between Shs100,000 and Shs200,000 but now, they range from Shs800,000 and above, of which there are some that require payment in dollars.
As for land, Muhumuza says before, a 100ft by 100ft plot of land could be bought at between Shs10m and Shs20m but now, the same size of plot goes for Shs400m and above yet at times, some sellers ask for payment in dollars.
Kololo is a sub-county with four parishes, namely Kololo 1, 2, 3 and 4. It is a place that was gazetted for government diplomats in the 80s.
Just like Ntinda, Kololo was a place for chief justices, government clerks, permanent secretaries and ministers among others.
Kololo is one of the well planned area in Kampala District as all houses were built by government according to plan for it was a planned residential area. However, this has changed over the years, and now Kololo boasts of a number of high end restaurants, hotels, hangout places, private clinics and offices.
It is no doubt that though people from other areas access these services; it is the Kololo residents that use them more because they are up to their standard and as private as they require.
After government gave back land to the people of Kololo, those tenants who never wanted to leave had to buy their land at an overwhelming price of Shs48m for just 70 decimals.