UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | The youthful entrepreneur and Real Muloodi Hamis Kiggundu, popularly known as Ham, waives July rent arrears for all the tenants on all his arcades/malls in Kampala city as they return to work from the 42 days of lockdown.
Ham, who owns several commercial buildings in the city, such as Ham Towers in Makerere and Ham Shopping Grounds in Nakivubo, says since the tenants had not been working during the Covid-19 lockdown, they should be pardoned and given a fresh start to allow business continuity.
Tenants in Kampala City want their various landlords to pardon their rent arrears because of the lockdown impact. The generous tycoon has done what fellow landlords dread to do.
On Tuesday, the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) leaders led by Hope Katwiine, their Vice-chairperson, asked the government to intervene in the challenges traders face during the lockdown.
Appearing before Parliament’s Trade Committee, Katwiine told MPs that since the first lockdown in March 2020, rent was not waived. On top of losing their capital, they carried loan balances forward, which has increased the burden on their businesses.
The Chief Executive Officer KACITA, Abel Mwesigye, suggested landlords should waive the rent arrears accumulated during the period of lockdown. According to Mwesigye, the tenants should not pay for the period when their shops were closed.
“Deferring rent to the future is making the tenant carry a burden, which is not a result of his or her cause. Let this be the contribution of the landlord to the war against Covid-19. This is possible following good-hearted examples of landlords in the city centre who made a total waiver of the entire lockdown rental arrears to their tenants,” Mwesigye told members of parliament.
This is not the first time the property mogul, Hamis Kiggundu, is standing with his tenants in hard times. At the end of the first lockdown last year, Ham waived all rent arrears for his sitting tenants.
“Regarding the current COVID-19 situation that has affected all our businesses. Management earlier shared the loss and wrote off two months’ rental arrears. However, it has come to our attention that the majority of your businesses have been affected by COVID-19 because of border closures and reduced sales,” the management of Ham Enterprises said in a notice to all tenants last year. “Management has taken an additional decision to reboot its rental system by writing off all your outstanding rental arrears to zero. Giving you a chance to regain stability in your business as our long time tenants,” the notice read.
As Hamis Kiggundu waives rent for his tenants some other landlords also followed suit, such as Aponye House (U) Limited on Burton Street and Mukwano.
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