UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) says it has started closing all commercial buildings whose landlords have not paid their ground rent.
KCCA’s director for revenue collection, Mr Theobald Cliff Edyegu, says that they are closing all buildings in the city whose owners are reluctant to provide a payment plan for clearing their ground rent arrears.
“We started the exercise [of closing buildings] this month, but we had stopped because of the Uganda Martyrs’ Day and the Heroes Day public holidays. However, we have now resumed,” he says.
Mr Edyegu explains that in the past, KCCA had not been closing premises, and was instead focusing on engaging landlords to provide payment plans for their outstanding ground rent.
However, despite KCCA’s engagement efforts, some landlords have failed to show up, forcing authorities to take action.
When asked how much revenue is outstanding from the arrears, Mr Edyegu says that in Nakawa Division alone, they are seeking to recover USh5.6 billion from 300 properties.
On June 13, 2022, KCCA closed the offices of power distributor Umeme and National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) in the city suburb of Kitintale, after the owners of the buildings accrued over Ush10.3 million in ground rent arrears, which according to Mr Edyegu has accrued since 2019.
However, Mr Edyegu says KCCA has resolved the matter with the landlords, who have now agreed on a payment plan.
In response to how the closure had affected their operations, Samuel Apedel, the NWSC public relations manager, referred the media to KCCA for answers saying that tenants are not responsible for paying ground rent.
Mr Stephen Illungole, the Umeme Communications Manager, says they had spoken to the landlord, who claims that KCCA had never served him with any demand notice or even notified him of money he owed KCCA.
Last year, KCCA was closing premises in poor conditions. According to KCCA, the owners of the affected buildings did not heed a directive to rehabilitate them.
Uganda House on Kampala Road, which houses the headquarters of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC), several offices and 30 shops, was among the buildings shut down.
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