Wednesday June 11 2014

Where mob justice is common

Gwowonya Eggere got its name from the Gwowonya

Gwowonya Eggere got its name from the Gwowonya Eggere herbal services sign post in the area. photos by racheal ajwang 

By Christine Katende

Gwowonya Eggere is one of the areas with a name that one may mistake for a rural area. But it is just a few kilometres out of Kampala and one can connect to Namasuba, as well as Entebbe Road through Gwowonya Eggere. It is located between Massajja–Ndikuttamadda and Massajja-Masomero.

The name Gwowonya Eggere originated way back in 1969 with Sheikh Mahmood Kayira, a re-known herbalist, who built a house on three acres of land. Sheikh Kayira, notes that the name started from a sign post with the words, Gwowonya Eggere herbal services.
“Before, the whole place was called Massajja but when I came, my business name Gwowonya Eggere transformed the area hence making it an independent zone,” he says.

Initially, this area was a vast land mainly for sweet banana growing. The yellow bananas were meant for making the Kabaka’s brew. According to Sheikh Kayira, the servants would collect them whenever the Kabaka needed brew. But today, the zone is developed with no farming land but churches, mosques, boutiques, bars, grocery shops, clinics and schools with good roads. It has a growing population with nice houses.

Adam Muhammed Sumba, a businessman, says water is readily available. He notes that most residents have piped water in their houses and those who do not have it pay at least Shs200 for a 20-litre jerrican. But the area also has a spring well where people go for free clean water.

The security is fairly good save for a few petty cases of assault and theft. Thieves normally break into people’s houses in their absence. However, there are other cases of unknown people dumping dead bodies in the area, which puts residents’ lives at a risk, according to Sumba.
Because the area has no police station, cases are reported to the area LC and later forwarded to Kikajjo Police Post.
In cases where police delays to reach the crime scene, residents resort to mob action. They believe it’s the only way to curb theft cases.

Although many people have private cars, the area has many boda bodas and taxis that transport other publis transport users to and fro the area at a cost of Shs1500 to Shs2,000 to Kampala. One needs to bargain if they are to use a boda boda.
Initially, transport fares were cheaper like at Shs600 to town and Shs800 back thenbut with time, it was increased to Shs1,200.