Robert Kiggundu: The Mayor who is turning Kangulumira into Uganda’s top tourism destination

Who is Kiggundu?

A professional public administrator and a business coach, Kiggundu was elected into the office of the Mayor in Kangulumira town council in 2021 in an election that made him the first mayor of Kangulumira. He is leading a community of over 60,000 people, according to statistical data from City facts.

Born in Kangulumira by then a rural subcounty of Kayunga, Kiggundu went to Kangulumira Church of Uganda primary School, Uganda Martyrs Centenary Secondary School Kangulumira and Busoga University where he graduated with a Diploma in Public Administration and Management. He also has a nine years experience teaching in primary schools, an experience he gained since 2003.

“My experience with children opened doors for me. I was able to acquire the most important life skills. Working with children helped me to understand people and guide them into full growth” Kiggundu revealed adding that this is also what helped him to invest in schools in his bid to support early childhood growth.

Building youths livelihoods

On his relationship with the youths Kiggundu singled out Kigayaza Parish Youth Association (KPYA) which he says he personally helped in it’s establishment in 2004. This was done to help the youths improve their livelihoods. With support from different development organizations like the Uganda Corporative Alliance (UCA) and the International Labour Organization, the association was able to build capacity to the youth in the parish.

Kiggundu says that KPYA was able to empower the youths who are now adding value to the Kangulumira pineapples through juice making and pineapple sun-drying.

The Scribe News can confirm that Kangulumira is Uganda’s leading market for pineapples with majority of the produce being exported majorly to Kenya, German, the Southern Sudan among other countries.

Kiggundu revealed that with support from the former area member of Parliament for Ntenjeru South, Hon. Fred Baseke, KPYA was able to receive a grant of $5000 which he says was very crucial in youth livelihood improvement in the parish of Kigayaaza through improved agricultural practices.

The life of a business coach.

Kiggundu told the Scribe News that his work with KPYA helped him get identified by The International Labour Organization (ILO) where he was among the youths who got trained as Trainer of Trainers to empower the youths with entrepreneur skills. The training, he says, involved training the youths in how to generate business ideas, how to start a business and how to improve the business. Kiggundu says such are the very skills which he is using to create positive change in the community of Kangulumira in his capacity as the Mayor.

Technoserve took him on as a business trainer and later a business counsellor. Technoserve is an American not for profit organization that is improving livelihoods through the promotion youth led enterprises in Uganda.

About his political career.

Since he joined politics in 2020, Kiggundu says he has been able to apply his skill as a mentor, counselor and business coach to empower the community of Kangulumira.

“I have been able to help my people benefit from government programs by conducting mentoring and training sessions especially to the youths and women groups and this has helped me so much to improve household incomes in Kangulumira town council”, he said.

Kiggundu who seemed to be bragging about his successes added that he has been visiting the beneficiaries of government funded livelihood programs like Emyooga, Youth Livelihood Program and the Parish Development Model to organize the community into productive ventures.

“I have engaged a number of women groups in activities with an intention of turning Kangulumira town council into a leading centre cottage industries where households can participate in the manufacturing value chain of Uganda. My intention is to reduce poverty levels in Kangulumira such that families can be self sustaining”. Kiggundu noted.

Kangulumira Town council signpost
A signpost leading to the offices of Kangulumira town council

He wants to organize the town into one of the leading tour destinations. The council, according to Kiggundu wants to tap into tourism since it hosts Uganda’s surviving white waterfalls at Kalagala falls.

Kiggundu he has been able to create linkages with development partners intentionally to Development in the town. Among these he says include; The Catholic Relief Organizations (CRF) and the East African Playgrounds.

Kangulumira Town council is priotizing Public Private Partnerships (PPP) which he says is where stakeholders are involved in the development of Kangulumira.

Some of the roads in the town have been developed by community members through the program. These include; Kiggundu Lane, Kamila- Kalagala Road and Kisega- Mpumudde road.

“We have a good relationship with the district leadership and this has helped us to aquire a garbage truck and a school bus for Kangulumira Public Secondary School”. Kiggundu noted.

Among the impacts Kiggundu has created in the community is the empowerment of girls and young women between the age of 12 to 35 by giving them life skills in hygiene, entrepreneurship, and financial inclusion.

Fighting Buganda Kingdom?

Although Kiggundu seems to be steering the town council into a direction of what is believed to be improved household livelihoods, his administration is marred by a number of controversies among them is the fights with the Buganda Kingdom subcounty administration of Kangulumira (Gombolola Musaale).

The Buganda chiefs at Kangulumira accuse the youthful mayor ot attempting to destroy the kingdom legacy from area.

Talking about this, Kiggundu noted that his accusers are actually not promoting the interests of the kingdom. He says these are politicians in the community who contested with him or promoted his opponents in the previous elections. He says that they are pushing selfish interests hiding behind promoting the kingdom agendas.

Kiggundu cited a recent event where he was accused of cutting down kingdom trees at the town council headquarters. He said the kingdom previously had three main roads all leading to the council offices an act he said was compromising the security of the council property and Human life. According to Kiggundu, the council passed a resolution to redesign the site plan. This involved closing all the illegal bypasses for security purposes.

“We had a demonstration garden which was established by the agricultural extension officer at the council. The change of roads also affected this garden and we agreed with the officer to relocate this garden” Kiggundu whom appeared not to be happy revealed adding that his counterparts from Buganda told the community that council demolished the Nabagereka garden. The Nabagereka garden is a mandatory garden at every kingdom administrative unit to promote modern agriculture in the area. Kiggundu expresses wonder why his counterparts are choosing to promote lies against him even when the facts can be publicly verified by the community.

Another controversy between the mayor and Buganda is the cutting down of trees. To this, Kiggundu said that in an effort to fail him, his counterparts at Gombolola Musaale decided to plant trees allover the council ceremonial grounds without any consultation with the council authorities. Thisnis what prompted the council to cut down some of these trees in order to leave this ground open in a way that was environmentally sensitive.

“I invited them and we agreed to reduce some of these trees. Unfortunately, they went allover the media character assassinating me and promoting me as an enemy if the kingdom. Am very loyal to the kingdom but I will not allow politician who hide behind the kingdom to promote their selfish interests which are in no way benefiting the interests of this community and the kingdom they are claiming to protect.

Kiggundu called upon the people of Kangulumira to love their country and advised his counterparts to promote a peaceful coexistence if the kingdom and the town council.

As a rulling party leaning politician, Kiggundu could not forget to thank the head of state, President Yoweri Museveni for promoting development and peace in his community.

Elizabeth Koshaba Nabuma

Lizzy as known at Scribe is professional passionate Journalist. Very jolly but serious when it comes to handling information. She can create change. She has created change. She will create change. Have we said all about her?