Special Reports

Sembabule: A district with no ethnicity

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A sign post in Sembabule Town

A sign post in Sembabule Town indicating the way to Bigo bya mugenyi Cultural Site. Photo by Issa Aliga.  

By Issa Aliga

Posted  Monday, December 2   2013 at  02:00

Sembabule- Sembabule is predominantly occupied by Baganda, Banyankole, Bakiga and Banyarwanda. There is an ethnic community called the Bamoori that claims links with the ancient Chwezi Kingdom whose headquarters are said to be at Bigo bya mugenyi, in present day Ntuusi Sub-county and is now a cultural historical site. TheBamoori have formed Bamoori Cultural Trust (BACUT). They, together with all other ethnic communities, live peacefully with one another and give respect to Buganda Kingdom. The speaker of the Lukiiko (Buganda Parliament), Mr Higiro Ssemajege, comes from Sembabule.


Sembabule District is located in the central region along the Equator and was once part of Masaka until 1997 when it became an independent district. The district is strategically bordered by Mubende in the north, Gomba in the north-west,
Bukomansimbi in the south-east, Lwengo in the south, Lyantonde in the south-west and Kiruhura District in the north-east. It has six sub-counties of Mateete, Lwebitakuli, Mijwala, Lugusulu, Ntuusi, Lwemiyaga and Sembabule Town Council.


The population of the district as per the last census of 2002 was estimated at 223,900 settled on 2,319.2 square kilometers. The district headquarters are 62km from Masaka Town on Villa-Bukomansimbi-Sembabule Road.


The main tourist attraction is Bigobyamugenyi which, it is said will be soon given a boost by UNESCO.


The district’s main source of income is crop agriculture and livestock production. Crop production contributes about 42 per cent and livestock 58 per cent of the gross household incomes. The main crops include coffee, banana, maize, and beans. They are also cattle keepers and cattle ranches found mainly in Lugusuulu, Ntuusi and Rwemiyaga sub-counties.

In recent years, the district took to pineapple production. The district receives low rainfall and has long dry spells. This greatly affects agriculture, but as people venture into rainwater harvesting and constructing water dams, this problem is nearly overcome.

Trade and Industry

The people trade in dairy products and crops such as beans, maize, coffee and livestock. Markets in Sembabule trade mainly in cattle, goats, sheep, dairy and agricultural products.

Primary schools

The district has a total of 171 primary schools with 129 government aided, 25 private and 17 community schools. For secondary schools, the district has over 19 schools, five are government, 10 private and two community schools.


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