Wednesday February 19 2014

The suburb that has been dubbed Benghazi

A farm in one of the homesteads in Buyinja.

A farm in one of the homesteads in Buyinja. Farming is the dominant economic activity in the area. However, other businesses like bars, restaurants and grocery shops are become commonplace. PHOTOS by MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 


When you mention the name Kasangati, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is Dr Kizza Besigye. However, Besigye just lives in a small part of Kasangati, called Buyinja Zone.

Buyinja Zone also known as Benghazi because of the chaos that breaks out in this zone whenever Dr Besigye plans on leaving his home, is located in Wakiso District, Wampewo Parish, Nangabo Sub- county and in Kyadondo County.


Land in Buyinja ranges from Shs25m for a 100 by 50ft piece of land to more than Shs100m for larger plots.

The majority of rentals in the zone are family houses, whose rent ranges between Shs250,000 to Shs500,000

According to Expedito Musisi Nyombi, the LC1 chairperson of Buyinja Zone, Buyinja houses over 10,000 residents and it has more 3,000 homesteads. It has a vocational school, two secondary schools, more than 10 primary schools and at least six daycare and nursery school.

The chairperson explains that Buyinja has two land marks and these are Kasangati Health Centre and Total Fuel Station.
As regards Business activities, Buyinja is mainly a zone for small scale farmers who deal in especially bird and cattle rearing.

However, Nyombi adds that in the past few years, people have started putting up businesses along Gayaza road, the road which borders Buyinja Zone and Kazinga zone. He says some of the common businesses along this road are restaurants, salons and bars. “However, these only cover a small part of the zone; the biggest part is for residentials which are mostly behind wall fences.”

Insecurity in the area
One reason why people fence off their homes is because of the high number of burglars in the zone. Sebaana Bbomboka, a resident who has been living in Buyinja for 27 years also explains that there are certain roads that are considered impassable after 10pm.

“Sseninde Road (it borders Buyinja zone and Kiwalimu Zone) is one of such roads because of the many bushes around it. Thieves hide in these bushes so when they see you coming, they either snatch whatever you are carrying and at times hit you with an iron bar.”

Bbomboka explains that normally, women are victims of bag snatching while the men are hit with iron bars.

This is worsened by people’s refusal to switch on the security lights at night. He says they claim to be saving power. Meanwhile, Bbomboka explains that some residents do not switch on their security lights because they have a feeling that when these lights are on, burglars can easily see what is going on inside their houses and can easily come up with a plan on how to rob them.
Nyombi states that the insecurity in the area has been worsened by the deployment of security officials at Dr Besigye’s home.

“We have people that are responsible for guarding the area. Some of them are residents who work with police and the area defence. Initially, they used to patrol the area at night. However, we withdrew them recently after government deployed its people at Besigye’s home.”

“We did not want our people to clash with these soldiers because some of them do not wear uniform and yet our patrol policy was that whenever we find someone walking after 1am we question them and if they do not have a good reason, we take them to Kasangati Police.”

He adds that because they were finding it hard to differentiate civilians from the security personnel at Dr Besigye’s home, they decided to withdraw the night patrols.

“However, this has given burglars leeway to resume their bad habits of breaking into people’s home, a vice that had somehow gone down.”

Limited access to running water
He explains that besides the insecurity, in the zone, a large part of his locality has not accessed running water for over four years now.

“I do not know what the problem is, we do not have running water even when we have all the connections yet even the other options we would have used like the boreholes are very few. We only have two boreholes and two wells. These sources are very few for over 10,000 people.”

But besides the challenges in this zone, it is a good place for people who want homes in quiet and dust free places as it is surrounded by trees and a lot of plantations. Additionally, in this zone, people watch over the other. So while there is insecurity, you are assured of help from your neighbours when the need arises.