• Fri. Sep 29th, 2023

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Following President Museveni’s announcement of a 42-day lockdown in June, some landlords immediately locked many traders out of their buildings. These traders could not remove their merchandise from their outlets, as landlords kept them under lock and key.

Two weeks ago, the President lifted the lockdown. However, some landlords have kept the padlocks on outlets whose shop owners have rent arrears, thus denying them access to their shops.

As Ugandan businesses slowly awaken from the 42-day governmental mandated COVID-19 shutdown, shops in Kikuubo and arcades in downtown Kampala remain closed and face additional impediments. In some instances, landlords are holding the shop’s merchandise, and continue to demand rental arrears for the period in lockdown.

Arcade owners around Kampala have blocked several traders from accessing shops demanding back rent.

Mahad Yiga, a tenant at Maria’s Galleria arcade, says his landlord demanded arrears from June to July even though the shops were closed due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Hanifah Kyeyune and Josephine Ssali, both traders at Qualicell Bus Terminal, said that the management of the building did not offer them any explanation on the closure of their shops, despite the lifting of the lockdown.

While they were looking forward to the reopening, instead, they found additional padlocks in their shops.

During a phone interview, Drake Lubega, a landlord, said many of his tenants had not paid their rent since May. Drake added that he expects to resolve issues on a case-by-case basis.

However, the chairperson of the arcade owner’s association, Mr Godfrey Kirumira, said he was not aware of the developments. 

Mr Thadeus Musoke, the General Secretary of Kampala City Traders Association, said they have yet to engage the landlords.

Tenants at Real Muloodi Landlord Hamis Kiggundu’s Shopping Mall and White House in Kikuubo said in their case, the landlords waived rent arrears for the two months when they were in the lockdown.


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