When you speak to traders across the country, their biggest concern is how they’re going to pay rent arrears for the wasted months in the Covid-19 global lockdown!
There are some 520 tenants who have been saved from these worries.
Segawa Market for motor spare parts on Mwanga 2 road in the busy Kisenyi Mengo area, have their landlord to thank.
Mr Haruna Ssentongo, one of the property tycoons in Kampala, has told his tenants that they need not worry about rent for the past months they spent without working.
On his two block building, largely occupied by spare parts vendors, Ssentongo says, he wants his tenants to have a fresh start.
He said the gesture is part of his efforts to help his tenants to recover from COVID 19 financial constraints.
Ssentongo who owns several properties in downtown Kampala and around the city’s prime suburbs, is the proprietor of Segawa Market, located along Mwanga 2 in Mengo Kisenyi, Nakayiza plaza on Kafumbe Mukasa Road, Haruna Towers Ntinda, Haruna Towers Wandegeya among others.
Haruna however is not stopping at waiving rent for current tenants, but has also openned three months to new tenants.
“The three months would enable new tenants to establish themselves and get a footing in business.” He said.
Ssentongo says unless traders start making good money, they cannot pay landlords comfortably.
“My happiest time is seeing tenants starting small and grow their shops to full capacity. With humble beginnings, many have grown to start importing their own merchandise”, Haruna Sentongo, says of his policy which turns traders renting at his premises, into business partners.
Asked about other buildings where he has several tenants, Ssentongo says he invites tenants to engage with the management of those buildings to come up with a win-win situation.
President Museveni in April asked landlords not to evict tenants in rent arrears as a result of the lockdown. He proposed engagement from both parties to ensure tenants meet their obligations with out too much pressure. Several tenants have been asking for rent pardon over the lockdown period, which the Ssegawa Market tenants have received.
Museveni asked the landlords and tenants to reach an agreement on how to pay rent in the near future when the situation in the country has normalized.
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