In Summary
  • According to Margaret Nankya, a resident of the area, though cotton and coffee used to be the major cash crops grown in the early days, that has since changed.
  • Paul Kadogo, the OC Seeta Police station dismissed the allegations of iron bar hit men in Misindye but said that through police surveillance, they have discovered that most cases of boda boda thefts are planned by boda boda owners.

At the beginning of January 2018, Patrick Ssemakula, a boda boda rider in Seeta almost lost his life.
Ssemakula was stopped by a passenger at around 9pm, who asked him to ride him to Misindye, approximately 1.5 km off Seeta main road.
Unfortunate for Ssemakula, when he reached Misindye round about, the passenger asked him to ride a short distance off the main road where he met his fate.

“The passenger directed me to ride to a seemingly isolated place and then he stopped me. A colleague of his appeared from a nearby bush and together they strangled me, they tied me up with ropes and later whisked away with my new bike which I had acquired on loan,” he narrates.
Just like Ssemakula, a number of boda boda riders in Misindye and surrounding areas have marked Misindye as a black spot for motorcycle thefts. To them, when it is past midnight, your personal safety plus that of your motorcycle is at a high risk.

According to 58-year-old Joseph Egesa Maloba, the area LC 1 chairperson, there used to be a great man called Misindye, who was one of Kabaka’s chiefs. He says Misindye was a powerful chief and when he died, the locals named the area after him.
Misindye as an area had a huge chunk of land, which was later sub-divided into six villages that include Namwoya, Jogo, Goma, Sonde, Lumuli and Jinja.
Egesa says though the place was subdivided, all those other six villages still fall under Misindye, which is now a parish.

Value for Land
Egesa says his father, John Maloba, migrated from eastern Uganda and acquired land that was being sold as bibanja (small plots).
“My late father told me that he bought this land we are on at Shs75 in 1960. It is approximately one acre,” he explains.
He says many people had not yet known the value of land by then and were obtaining land at a cheap price.

However, Egesa says land started gaining value in the 1990s where bibanja owners started selling a plot of land at approximately Shs300,000.
By mid 1990s, Egesa says people started paying for land in millions, this he attributes to the growth in population because of the influx of people coming in from different areas to settle in Misindye because it was closer to the industrial area in Namanve.
“As we talk, you cannot get a plot of land in Misindye ( 50 by 100) without 40 million and above, land is very expensive, especially a piece of land, which is near the main road,” he explains.
He says this is because the area is strategically located and with a tarmac road that connects to other parts of the city.

Economic activities
According to Margaret Nankya, a resident of the area, though cotton and coffee used to be the major cash crops grown in the early days, that has since changed.
She notes that very many businesses have cropped up like sand mining, stone querying and welding.
Though a section of people are involved in sand mining and stone querying, these activities seem illegal as people take off in case they see a person they are not familiar with. LC 1 chairperson Egesa says though there is sand mining in the area, majority of the people that carry out the activity are not licensed, which could explain why they operate in hiding.

“We have on several occasions warned those who carry out illegal sand mining, but some still insist, in case anyone is caught, they will be arrested,” he says.
Nankya adds that a number of other main businesses have been established such as hard ware shops, big super markets and several schools.
“In the past we used to go to Seeta Town or to Namugongo to get these services, but we no longer find reason to go to those places since all the services have been brought nearer to Misindye,” she explains.

Security

According to Chairman Egesa, there are a number of boda boda thefts that have been recorded in the area in the past days. He, however, says these have since reduced after several sensitisation meetings that have been held.
“It is true, many boda boda riders have been reporting cases of theft in the area, but they have since reduced. Boda boda riders have been complaining about the stretch from Misindye roundabout to Nakiyanja as a black spot where many have lost their motorcycles especially during night hours. However, we have formed security committees that are working directly with police,” he explains.
He explains that on most weekends hang outs such as Lingo, Oasis and De’ville, host musicians and residents still out until late in the night with boda boda men transporting them.

He adds that it is on such occasions that thieves take advantage. However, he says the security committees have helped them by alerting them about some notorious thieves that have since been arrested.
Paul Kadogo, the OC Seeta Police station dismissed the allegations of iron bar hit men in Misindye but said that through police surveillance, they have discovered that most cases of boda boda thefts are planned by boda boda owners.
Kadogo says since this practice is under serious watch, it is no longer a big threat in the area.

dmurungi@ug.nationmedia.com