George Fred Kagimu arrived in Mukono with a dream to construct a mega sports activities journey metropolis.
As a giant motorsport fan, Kagimu dearly needed to grasp the Festino Metropolis Challenge as he loved his retirement after years of globetrotting.
Freshly retired from gasoline big Complete the place he was a gross sales and advertising and marketing director, Zambia in 2008, and having labored in a number of multinational organisations that noticed him go to greater than 50 international locations throughout the globe, this was the time for him to clear his head.
Festino was the enterprise mannequin closest to his coronary heart and if profitable, it had a key to unlock the potential of Mukono city, scale up its development and provide quite a few alternatives to locals and people past the city’s borders.
“I got here to Mukono to start out a giant enterprise. A metropolis for sports activities, coaching and journey,” Kagimu, a person with measured phrases, has beforehand said.
Alongside his travels, Kagimu had met Prince Muhammed Bin Salman in France.
Prince Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is an ardent motorsport fan and promoter of the game again dwelling the place he has served as president of Motorsport in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Having adopted followers supporting Ugandan motorsport occasions keenly, he was keen to inject USD5 million (Shs17.7 billion or an equal of Mukono Municipality’s present price range) into an journey sports activities park in Uganda.
Such an funding would have despatched Mukono into over drive.
Nevertheless, Prince Muhammed caught chilly toes when it was quickly realized that one thing was amiss within the fast-growing city, positioned solely 25km east of Uganda’s capital metropolis.
Mukono didn’t have a grasp bodily plan.
With out the grasp bodily plan, no critical investor would inject such monies right into a enterprise location whose future was unsure.
That’s how Festino Metropolis’s promise slowed down.
The present website is a significant crowd attraction, notably for motor rally followers and drivers however it isn’t even 1 / 4 of its preliminary dream.
Getting into politics
Utilizing his personal cash, Kagimu determined to go forward with the event, one brick at a time.
Nevertheless it was by no means going to be clean crusing.
Festino Metropolis wanted to be in a extra well-planned city – one that might assist unlock growth alternatives.
And this might solely be carried out with him on the helm.
However politics was one of many enterprise disablers within the city. His colleagues within the Chamber of Commerce (Mukono chapter which he served as chairman) shared comparable experiences of missed alternatives over the unplanned space.
In 2015 he joined the race for mayorship on the Democratic Occasion ticket and gained the race to run the municipality between 2016-21.
In 5 years, Kagimu has truly supervised the transformation of Mukono right into a extra live-able city, cleared rubbish from the streets, graded roads and improved avenue lights. There may be extra investor confidence witnessed within the upsurge of factories opening up within the two industrial parks surrounding Mukono in Namanve and Mbalala.
As he leaves workplace, Kagimu admits he’s blissful 50 per cent of the grasp bodily plan of Mukono Municipality has been accomplished, mentioning plans of the wards together with Misindye, Bukerere, Nyenje, Ggulu and a part of Ntawo, whose mapping and growth plans have been documented.
“We have now marked effectively the place we wish markets, colleges, leisure centres, inexperienced areas, parks, buying malls, and so on,” Mr Kagimu explains, including that his Council began with areas that aren’t densely populated.
“We have now concerned individuals. Now we all know the place we wish to go,” provides the ex- mayor who contested for Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament seat and misplaced.
“I’m grateful the individuals of Mukono allowed me to take part in management,” he says.
Management has been round Kagimu’s life.
Within the company world, he served with distinction in numerous capacities as a supervisor. In sports activities, he was president of the Federation of Motorsport Golf equipment in Uganda between 2010-14.
He additionally served in a number of management capacities chairman of the Nationwide Chamber of Commerce (Mukono), President of Rotary Membership. Within the Catholic Church, he served in a number of laity positions in Kampala Archdiocese, amongst others.
In case you are hint his management expertise, one has to return so far as St Henry’s Faculty Kitovu in Masaka the place he was head prefect in 1978.
Kagimu’s largest contribution to Mukono has been in opening feeder roads within the city.
“If you wish to see any city develop, pave roads,” he says.
“We’d like extra bypass roads. We would like them developed to develop into business streets and have them expanded,” he mentioned.
When in Mukono, one can keep away from visitors jam by utilizing roads behind Mukono hospital in addition to the Market.
It’s now potential to undergo Mukono with out utilizing the freeway.
“We have now undertaken the identical issues in Seeta, beneath Goma division. Roads have been opened in Bajjo, and Lufula to assist Seeta develop additional,” he says.
As he leaves workplace, Kagimu says, he’s ‘assured town of Mukono municipality will develop in the fitting instructions’, emphasizing that an important factor is to have new visitors circulating within the space.
The opposite roads undertaking he’s happy with is the 2 kilometres stretch in Nsomere swamp which joins rubbish dumping website Katikolo in Mukono Central Division to Kitale in Goma Division. This was constructed with assist from authorities.
This has eased the transportation of rubbish collected in Goma to Katikolo dumping website which has saved the Council cash in gasoline and lifted visitors off the ever-congested freeway.
Budugala by Nyenje to Joggo and Bukerere, a significant space for sand and bricks in addition to Njogezi from DFI by Ntawo swamp to Bajjo have all been linked.
One other optimistic is residents of Kitale – one other quick growing centre – can now journey to Katikolo with ease to entry well being and training companies.
With all these roads, the visitors coming from Namanve, Bugujju, Nabuti, Salongo John, Namumira, Namuyenje to Mbalala can be refrained from the Jinja Kampala freeway.
Kagimu is grateful that the federal government has accepted these highway plans together with one other highway by Kiwanga, behind Seeta, Bajjo, DFI, Festino, Nasuuti, Kitete, Nakawolole swamp, Kirangira again to Jinja highway.
These tasks can be accomplished inside three to 5 years.
When that’s carried out, Mukono can develop quicker and smarter, and allow residents and guests reside in a extra affluent, cleaner and safer place.
“For the enterprise neighborhood we achieve extra if this turns into a metropolis. It’s important to present good roads, avenue lighting, transport service,” he says.
Mukono’s inhabitants doubles each 10 years with the most recent census placing the quantity at roughly 500,000 individuals.
Through the first Covid lock down, Kagimu was a part of the group which distributed meals aid to about 120,000 residents of Seeta Parish.
A gateway to Kampala, Mukono provides an excellent fraction of Kampala’s day inhabitants and ought to be extremely thought-about by way of budgeting.
“The placement of our city is without doubt one of the cause numbers continue to grow as a result of when our brothers and sisters come from jap Uganda, use the city as their launch pad into the capital,” Kagimu says.
Inhabitants development is buoyed by the variety of college students at a few of the greatest colleges within the district in addition to Uganda Christian College who keep again after commencement on the lookout for job alternatives. These are only a fraction of those that are available in to search out jobs within the Industrial parks of Namanve and Mbalala.
It’s for such causes amongst others that the stress on companies retains rising but the assets within the native authorities are so little.
Kagimu laments that with regards to well being and training, it’s regrettable that Namanve is languishing. To display the dire want he says one of many colleges in Kolo had 280 pupils 4 years in the past, however now it has 1,400 pupils, due to the rising variety of residents within the Industrial space.
Mukono Municipal Council has been operating Mukono Well being Centre IV earlier than it was elevated to hospital degree.
The Council has been dedicating about Shs100 million per 12 months from native income, along with the funds from authorities and donors.
“We purchased an ambulance for the hospital too,” he says.
Then the power was upgraded after President Museveni promised Shs300 million to hold out repairs. The cash was as an alternative used to construct the Out-Affected person Division’s first flooring. This excited authorities which supplied an extra Shs750 million funds to finish the construction.
Now the district has taken over the hospital’s everyday operating however in return Kagimu desires Goma well being centre to be upgraded to Well being Centre IV in addition to Kyungu to well being centre III.
“The grasp plan of growth has to take note of the frequent particular person,” he says.
“We’d like to consider Well being take care of all and low-cost housing, in addition to develop UPE colleges for training at a small payment.”
Nevertheless, the event ought to be correctly phased out.
When Kagimu was elected mayor, a youth centre at basis degree had been in existence for over 10 years.
“We began devoting Shs100 million per 12 months for the undertaking and now the construction has been accomplished,” he says.
The devotion in the direction of the construction, he says, is as a result of if you’ll assist youth in numerous issues affecting them together with, employment it’s essential to know them.
“You create an space the place you’ll find them and know who they’re and what they do,” Kagimu explains, including that the centre – constructed with assist from town of Wimabee in Sweden – is a standard pool to assist youth.
As well as, Rotary golf equipment of Sweden and Mukono will work out a plan to furnish the centres.
Kagimu says native governments are constrained with money.
“We have to see the federal government giving more cash to native authorities.” He says, including that solely 10 per cent of the price range is given to native governments but they it’s districts, municipalities, sub counties which closest to the individuals.
“Native Governments are closest to factors of service supply,” hee says. Nevertheless, the cash despatched goes into salaries, and allowances of technical employees and never precise companies corresponding to roads, colleges, well being centres, or atmosphere.
What subsequent for Kagimu
Kagimu says he’s going to throw himself again into enterprise and voluntary actions as he was earlier than.
“I’ve a variety of tasks in Rotary Membership. I’ve additionally fashioned an NGO to deal in atmosphere and rubbish administration.”
The ex-mayor regrets that his enterprise was not spared by Covid19.
“It’s badly affected,” he says, including that he was open to any alternatives coming his means from a number of fronts.
“I missed a possibility to display how the individuals of Mukono can have an efficient MP,” he underscores. “Politics ought to be used to remodel the lives of our individuals.”
Kagimu says he nonetheless has his eyes on politics and needs to make use of the platform to get growth funders, get coaching alternatives for teenagers to enhance on what they’re doing.
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