Kisota: The Road of Snakes That is Dreaded by its Own Residents

According to an elder in Kisota who has lived here since the 1990’s, the road that wasa a mere footpath then, was bushy and not as clear as it is today. Then it had a lot of trees, which were full of snakes, and that is why it was named Kisota road.
Kisota road in Kisasi

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Kisota road in Kisasi derives its names from the limbless reptiles that once infested the area.Kisota in Luganda refers to a big snake. According to elders who reside in the Kisota Kisasi area, the road which snakes through the neighborhood was once a mere footpath winding through the once grassy, wooded locality.  

According to an elder in Kisota who has lived here since the 1990’s, the road that wasa a mere footpath then, was bushy and not as clear as it is today. Then it had a lot of trees, which were full of snakes, and that is why it was named Kisota road.  


On June 1st, assailants riding on two motorbikes attacked a vehicle belonging to former CHief of Defence Forces and Transport Minister Gen Katumba Wamala at Kisota, killing his daughter Brenda Nantongo and driver Haruna Kayondo.

The assailants shot Gen Katumba in both the left and right shoulders. Although the road still remains cordoned off, the suspects are still at large.  


The road, located in Kisasi, Kikaya parish of Kawempe division can be empty, deserted, and quiet during day but also strangely, in the night.  

Kisota is approximately one kilometer, and stretches from the Bukoto-Kisasi road and Bukoto overpass joining Kisasi-Kyanja road.   

The wall fences along kisota road make the big gated homes appear shielded from this world.A busy Bemuga lorry packing yard with personnel and vehicles coming in and going out  gives some life to the dull road.    A few small shops, those operated only through open windows, and those selling a wide range of goods are scattered along kisota road also give the area some feel of activity.

Kisota road has been a rather dull and lonely road, with most users only being residents of the area, and a few who know the shortcut.  Walking through Kisota in broad daylight sounds like being in a ghost road with limited activity, and a limited number of people.

Already strange by day time, the road is scarier in the night because of the high walls and poor lumination all through.    

In most cases, cyclists, motorists, and  pedestrians are advised to avoid using the road or at most, be very careful when using the road because it is secluded.  

There are several cases of house break-ins, and phone theft in the area, sometimes during day time. Victims are usually left at the mercy of the suspects as  nobody is there to help because of the set up of the homes by the roads.

Joshua Kisakye a resident who has been renting in Kisota for now over five years, says there are two incidents in Kisota area that will forever leave him scared. He says one day he met a group of boys grabbing phones, and he didn’t have where to run to.   

He says because he was surrounded, the boys armed with sticks picked his phone, and his wallet, and asked him to run and not look back if he wanted to stay alive.  Another is a time when he found a vehicle parked across the road not allowing anyone to pass, and he had to run backwards to use an alternative road.   

Most Boda boda riders within the Kisasi, Bukoto, Ntinda and Kyanja prefer to use the Bukoto Kisasi road, instead of crossing over from Kisota in the night for fear of being mugged.   

“When the sun goes down, you need effective light for your own self, you cannot determine who is ahead of you and what is on your side, because the road is not straight and has a lot of brick walls,”  Emma Ondoga says.

He adds that being a one-lane road, it is very difficult to drive in and sometimes puts you at risk when you cannot turn, he says this is mainly because the place is dark.    

He says in the night, those who fear a lot don’t use Kisota road. For some residents who leave in Kisasi, although Kisota road is the shortcut, they prefer taking a longer route towards the roundabout that leads to Bahai Temple and to Kisaasi for fear of Kisota road and what it might bring.  


Mustapha Ssekamanda a boda Boda rider who has lived in the area for over 10 years says that the challenge with Kisota is the darkness in the area, the high walls of the buildings along the road but also the issue of phone thieves.  

//Cue in: “kisota road okutwaliza…   

Cue out:…wede wede muko”//  

He also says that the different diversions and changes of traffic flow has influenced activity at Kisota road.  

//Cue in: “Ekyo kye tu…   

Cue out:…ye yongera mungi”//  


With the coming diversion of traffic to Kisota road due to the construction works at the bypass roundabout construction, Kisota road has become more lively, with all the cars heading to Ntinda, now using the tail end of Kisota road, and those coming from Ntinda and the Northern bypass now emerging from Power Africa building near the end of Kisota road.  

In normal times Kisota road is almost empty, but at peak hours from 7:00 am to 8:00 am and from 7:00 pm to 9:00pm the road is congested with traffic jam. 

The diversion has also brought about hawkers, selling masks and different merchandise including snacks, among others.   The new activity on the road means it is now fairly busy, but this is mostly from the tail of the road towards Kisasi.

The snakes that gave its name may no longer there, but the tragedy of last week is a reminder that there will always be new types of snakes that the road its weird name.


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