• Sun. Jan 29th, 2023

Sembabule Residents Step Up as Police Fail to Pay Rent Arrears

UGANDA, Sembabule | Real Muloodi News | Residents of Kyabi Sub-county in Sembabule District have started a campaign to raise money to save the local police station from being evicted due to mounting rent arrears.

This comes after the six-month deadline for the local police authority to pay rent arrears of USh6 million expired.

Building owner, Mr John Mubiru, has now granted police three more days to leave his property so he can find another renter who can pay rent on time.

Since the police moved into his building two years ago, according to Mr Mubiru, the government has played hide-and-seek with the payment of the rent.

“They [police] have not paid a single coin ever since they started using my building, let them vacate if they cannot pay the accumulated rent arrears in three days,” he said.

The police are required under the lease agreement to pay USh250,000 per month, but they have not been doing so for the previous two years.

This changed when Mr Yasiin Ssekalaala, a resident and previous landlord for the same police station, showed up and demanded USh18.6 million in back rent.

Between 2005 and 2015, according to Mr Ssekalaala, the police occupied his building; yet, up to its demolition to make room for the construction of the Kanoni-Maddu-Gomba-Mpigi Road, the police never gave him any money.

“They were supposed to pay 180,000 every month, but for the 10 years they spent in my house, only Shs3m was paid and I still demand the rest of the money,” he said, adding that if his money is not returned, he is thinking about taking the police department to court.

Mr Joseph Ssebyuma, the chairperson of Kyabi Parish, said: “We have started well and in the first meeting, we have managed to mobilise Shs1.5 million in cash and pledges, and we are optimistic that we can raise this money and have the police stay in the area because we need it,” he said.

The Sembabule District Police Commander, Mr Rogers Kapere, stated that they are aware of the accumulating rent arrears and requested additional time from the landlords to pay the arrears.

“We appreciate the efforts by locals to assist us to raise some money, but that issue was forwarded to the police finance department, and we are optimistic that it will be addressed soon,” he said.

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