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KNOW YOUR DISTRICT: Mubende: One of Uganda’s oldest districts

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The 400-year-old Nakayima tree in Mubende. It is thought to host the spirit of Ndahura, a medieval Bachwezi king.

The 400-year-old Nakayima tree in Mubende. It is thought to host the spirit of Ndahura, a medieval Bachwezi king. It has over the years turned into one of the biggest tourist attractions in Mubende and western Uganda. PHOTOs by Fred Muzaale 

By Fred Muzaale

Posted  Monday, June 9   2014 at  01:00
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Mubende

According to local leaders and elders, the district derives its name from kubenda benda, which literally means to walk while bending. It is said that long ago, many people used to walk up hill to Nakayima tree to get blessings. But because of the hill and distance, they got tired and started walking while bending.

Mubende is one of the oldest districts in Uganda having been established around 1905 by colonial rulers. The district has bred many other districts such as Kiboga and Mityana. It covers an area of approximately 4,620 square kilometres.

Administration
The district has 19 sub-counties of Bagezza, Kassanda, Kasambya, Butoloogo, Mannyogaseka, Kitumbi, Kitenga, Kiyuni, bukuya, Kiganda, Nabingoola, Kibalinga, Mubende town council, Kalwana, Kigando, Naluntuntu, Makokoto, Madudu and Myanzi.
It has four constituencies of Buwekula, Kasanda North, Kasanda South and Kasambya.

Population
The 1991 population census estimated the district population at 277,500. In 2002 the national census, it was estimated the population of the district to be about 423,450 people of whom (50.3%) were males and (49.7%) were female, with an annual population growth rate of 3.6 per cent. It is estimated that in 2012, the population of the district was about 610,600.

Education
The district has 218 government-aided primary schools with about 110,000 pupils. The private primary schools are 300 while government-aided secondary schools are 19. The teacher-pupil ratio stands at 1:75 instead of the 1:53. The district has 2,172 teachers creating a deficiency of 361 teachers. The dropout rate stands at 30 per cent

Health
The district has two health centre IVs of Kiganda and Kasanda. They both have doctors. It also has a regional referral hospital located in Mubende Town. The regional referral hospital was recently constructed by the Japanese government and it has 175 beds. The staffing levels in the health centres stand at 69 per cent. The rampant disease in the district is malaria.

Water coverage
The water coverage in the district stands at 60 per cent with most households having access to boreholes and protected springs. In Mubende Town Council, the residents have piped water provided by National water and sewerage cooperation.

Economic activities
About 80 per cent of residents in the district engage in subsistence farming. They grow crops such as maize, bananas, groundnuts, cassava, onions, tomatoes and beans. The district is the largest maize producer in the country.

Tourism
The most popular tourist attraction in the district is the Nakayima tree where about 30 people on average daily visit to get blessings such as wealth, children and fortunes. The tree is estimated by residents to be more than 400 years. Locals say it was planted by Nakayima who was the wife of Nduhura.
The site was developed by the district and Mengo government.

Crime
Mubende is among the districts experiencing land wrangles. According to the DPC Mr Enock Abaine, police registers about five land cases daily. Land wrangles are blamed on the large number of immigrants.

Movers and Shakers of Mubende

Agnes Tibamalirwa is a prominent farmer and the director St Paul Junior School.

Benny Bugembe is the district Woman MP.

Birungi Mugagga is an opinion leader in the district and the director St Mugagga Day and Boarding Primary School.

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