President Museveni has pleaded with landlords to give tenants some time before they re-start meeting their rent obligations.
In his State of Covid-19 National Address from Nakasero State House May 4 night, Museveni said landlords can o demand rent arrears when work resumes.
“Don’t forgive them rent,” he said, “reschedule payments.”
Museveni who announced a slow unlocking to the Covid-19 measures, assured landlords in loans in banks the government was engaging with the banking institutions to also reschedule their loan repayments. However, the president was silent on big property developers who borrow offshore where the government of Uganda has no control.
Banks in Uganda however, have already faced criticism for asking their customers to pay the interest on loans as a pre-condition for resting charges of principle. Many argue, they would end up losing more money.
Landlords are under pressure not to face penalties emerging from their tenants failure to pay rent for the three months Uganda has been under lock down.
The Property business is one of the mainly hit sector with millions of tenants refusing to pay rent during the lock down.
The president desiring to add life to the property business, announced that wholesalers and hardware shops were free to open to provide a market for what is manufactured in the factories that have remained open during the lock down.
Museveni who pushed the lock down for the next 14 days, however, eased the lockdown on some businesses including food markets, wholesalers, hardware, restaurants, lawyers, warehouses, Insurance companies, mechanic garages, wood and metal workshops, among others.
Below is the list of measures Mr Museveni announced on May 4, 2020:
1. Agriculture to continue functioning as usual. Food markets will continue to operate.
2. Wholesalers allowed to open. Wholesalers should not operate in air conditioning, maintaining the 2meter distance between seller and buyer and other SOPS.
3. Hardware shops can open, maintaining the 2meter distance between seller and buyer and other SOPS.
4. Repair workshops and garages, wood workshops and metal workshops can open.
5. Insurance providers will be added to list of essential workers.
6. Limited number of lawyers (30nos), as directed by Uganda Law Society, will be added to list of essential workers.
7. Restaurants will only allowed to open for take away services.
8. Warehouses allowed to operate.
9. All those above listed sectors, who would want to resume business must use Buses owned or hired by employers. Cycle to workplace or walk to work.
10. *Public* and *private* transports remain *suspended* . *Only* those with *official stickers issued by the Ministry* will be allowed to use their vehicles.
11. Encamping of workers at place of work, especially for factories and construction sites is not mandatory now. Workers can now walk to and fro site.
12. Anybody moving out of the house and going in public areas, MUST wear a mask or a CLOTH to cover the nose and mouth.
13. Four metres social distance must be maintained at all places of work.
14. Places of work must be regularly sanitised as guided by Ministry of Health.
15. Landlords and Banks should not penalise defaulters during this lockdown period.
16. All other measures that had been put in *INCLUDING THE CURFEW, AND BODA BODA TIMING* in earlier addresses, remain in place for the next 14 days.
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