Wantoni is a developing centre in Mukono Municipality. It is located a few meters after Mukono town a long Mukono- Jjnja high way
Wantoni is a developing centre in Mukono Municipality. It is located a few metres after Mukono town along Mukono- Jjnja highway.
Godfrey Sunday Ssozi, an elder who owns a garage in the area says that Wantoni is a centre surrounded by villages such as Kikooza, Lweza, Ngandu, Dandila, Nabuti and Kitega.
Ssozi who has been staying in the area since 1997, the time he set up a Motto Garage says that the name originated from Muzei Antony, an old man who owned a vast piece of land on which he had constructed shops in 1970s. He reveals that many people would refer to his name as they gave out directions to others thus the birth of the name “Wantoni”. “This place was sparsely populated and bushy.
The crime rate was so high as people would be beaten, killed and property stolen at night. There were illegal road blocks that were staged at certain points. Those who owned shops would close as early as 6pm in fear of being robbed,” Ssozi narrates.
The then dusty Katosi road has been tarmacked which has made the place beautiful, according to Ssozi. There is a new taxi park which has made transport to others places easy. “Before, taxis would not ferry people as far as Wantoni, many stopped in Mukono town and those that operated from Kampala would walk to and from Mukono. A few would get a chance to board those that came from Jinja and dropped off at Wantoni stage. A boda boda charges Shs1,000 from Wantoni to Mukono and taxis Shs500.
Many forms of businesses have been opened up such as salons, hard ware shops, four primary schools, supermarkets, restaurants, bars, hotels, lodges, garages, retail shops, clinics and a fuel station. Majority are located on the main road.
Land and housing
Ssozi says that most of the land in the area has been sold out. The cost of land has risen. A 50 by 100 feet piece of land costs Shs25m while 100 by 100 costs Shs40m on mailo land.
The place also has houses for rent. Self-contained double rooms cost Shs250,000 from previously Shs150,000. Single rooms range between Shs60,000 and Shs100,000.
Well-furnished, self-contained apartments go for Shs300,000 and Shs600,000 depending the number of rooms. However, rental houses are not so common in the area as Ssozi states. Many people in the area build residential homes.
Nalongo Nakyeyune, a business woman in the area however, notes that with the rate at which the place is developing, commercial buildings are more productive. Rent for shops is between Shs150,000 to Shs500,000 depending on the size of the room and the street on which it is located. People now work for longer hours.
“I used to close as early as 6pm back in the day because of insecurity and lack of customers but now I work up to 10pm. My customer base has grown and I am happy because I can educate my children and take care of myself,” says Nakyeyune.
Henry Mboowa, a resident who agrees with Nakyeyune says there has been tremendous development in the area in the last seven years mostly when a police post was introduced in the area. Apart from ensuring tight security in the area, the police post also handles minor cases in the area. Capital offenses such as rape, murder are forwarded to the Mukono police station.
Generally, Wantoni is a busy trading centre and easily accessible due to the road transport in the area. It is surrounded by tarmacked roads which make transport and transportation of goods easier. The area houses both low and middle income earners who are mainly self-employed. Middle and high class people are few.
When inquired about the security in the area, Ssozi replied saying, over the time, security in the area has improved though they still register some few robbery cases where people break into houses especially when the owner is away.
He adds that the availability of the patrolling police has helped to arrest law breakers. People hang out till very late in the night because they are assured of security.