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Mukono: The King’s hand

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Satelite Beach in Mukono is a popular entertainment spot which pulls crowds from across the country. PHOTO BY Johnson Mayamba 

By JOHNSON MAYAMBA & JESSICA SABANO

Posted  Monday, January 13   2014 at  02:00
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Mukono.

Back in the day, people from Kyagwe County in Buganda Kingdom used to take their gifts direct to the Kabaka. As the population grew, it became nearly impossible as the palace got over crowded. The Kabaka thus directed the people to give the gifts to the county chief who would deliver them to him. Since then, people started referring to the county chief as the hand (Omukono) that delivered their gifts to the Kabaka hence the name of the place, as Mukono Municipality Legislator Betty Nambooze Bakileke narrates.

Located about 21km from the city centre, Mukono is part of former greater Mukono which used to comprise the current day Mukono, Buikwe, Buvuma and Kayunga districts. It has four counties which include Mukono Municipality, Mukono South, Mukono North and Nakifuuma.

The high crime rate in Mukono District is an open secret. But it is fast being handled by the police, as seen in the drop in cases being reported lately. However, Ms Nambooze remains skeptical especially since there is a huge number of youth migrating to the district especially from Kampala.

Population
Mukono has an estimated population of about 980,000 people according to the district leadership and is said to be increasing every year. Mayor Johnson Muyanja says the growth rate springs from the high level of development that has attracted people from other areas to come and settle here. They prefer it because the cost of living is still low and it is near the city.

Economic activity
With a highway from Kampala to Jinja passing through the town, you will always be welcomed with sign posts of Uganda Christian University from either side as you enter the town. The institution is one of those said to have contributed to the development of Mukono. This is because many of the businesses that have been established in the area target the university students and the people around it. Supermarkets like City Shoppers, Haji Abasi and Sombe all thrive on the presence of the students in the area. Not to forget, the boda boda cyclists dominate every place they deem fit to put a stage in a bid to provide cheap transport day and night all over the town for between Shs500 and Shs2,000 depending on the distance. There are also branches of prominent banks mainly in Mukono town.

Leisure and tourism
If you ever want to hang out while in Mukono, be rest assured you won’t lack a place to go to. The district has tourist attractions like lake Victoria, Sseziwa and Koome sactuary. Hotels such as Colline, Ridah, Jobiah, Crane Paradise and Mukono Resort in addition to clubs and bars like Casablanca, Asylum, Bar Seventy Seven, Club One, The Hive, Kisumali and not forgetting the most popular one Satelite Beach among others all packed with theme nights seven days a week and ready to give you the fun you want. Other historical sites include Ssezibwa Falls Resort, situated along River Ssezibwa, Namasole Palace Hill, situated at Ngogwe Hill. There is Ddolwe (Golola) Island on the east side of Lake Victoria in Buvuma, Nabinyonyi Islands, situated on Lake Victoria at Buyaga Subcounty towards Buvuma District. Mpunge Second War Cementary is a historical place because many people were buried there. The other is Kasirye Landing Beach in Ngogwe.

Health
Mukono District has mainly private hospitals which include Mukono Church of Uganda Hospital which just attained its new status from Health Center IV recently, Vine Medi Care Hospital, Albert Cook Hospital and St Francis Hospital, Nagalama, which is owned by the Catholic Church. This is in addition to many clinics, pharmacies and a few public Health centers within the district. In summary, Mukono district has the following , two health centre IV, 13 health centre III, 21 health centre II, 85 private clinics, 320 registered drug shops, 25 domiciliary maternity units and two hospitals.

Religious hub
One cannot talk about Mukono without the religious part of it. It hosts the offices of the Anglican Church for Mukono Diocese which cover Mukono and the neighboring districts of Kayunga, Buikwe and Buvuma with a line of schools like Bishop’s Schools where some of the big shots in the district have gone through. Mukono also has the Catholic founded Namilyago Boy’s School and Namilyago College, one of the oldest schools in Uganda. It also has St Francis Hospital, Nagalama, one of the biggest hospitals in the district. Though these are the founder religions in the area, there are other religions like Islam, Bahai, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and African traditional practices. Pentecostals have also taken root in the district with many churches being started in almost every village.

Uganda Christian University is located in Mukono and has over the years grown to become one of the leading providers of quality tertiary education. Because of this, Mukono Town has become a destination for many all over East Africa.

Movers and shakers of Mukono district
Gen Katumba Wamala
He is the Commander of Defence Forces, a resident of Mukono and is popular for helping the poor and for offering scholarships.

Godfrey Kyeswa owns Mukono Bakery. He is a property Mogul owning buildings like Maria’s Galleria, Transnile Link and Nakasero Complex among others in Kampala.

Justice Lameck Mukasa is head of Criminal Division in the High Court. He has contributed as an individual to a number of development projects in Mukono.

Betty Nambooze is Mukono Municipality MP known for fighting for people’s rights. She has contributed a lot by offering an ambulance and also supporting the health centres with major emphasis on women’s health.

Ronald Kibuule
is State Minister For Youth Affairs and is MP for Mukono North. His good relations with investors has enhanced development.

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