KAMPALA Central legislator Muhammad Nsereko has shockingly revealed how some landlords of shopping arcades in the capital city have heartlessly sealed off shops demanding that their tenants clear three-months rent amidst Covid-19 National lockdown.

The named Land lords are the usual suspects led by Drake Lubega and Mansoor Matovu commonly known as Yanga.

Tenants have pleaded with the landlords not to seal their shops citing Presidential directives of shutting down the city and the fact that businesses are not operating. However the arcade owners seem not to want to listen.

“We also have bank loans and our bankers are giving us endless calls at the end of every month. We have no option but to seal off shops and no one will be allowed to access his or her shop without paying rent for three months.” Said one of the arcade owners on the condition of anonymity. 

MP Nsereko (Middle) preparing to distribute food to hungry Kampala Central people before President Museveni put a ban on it

Nsereko has instead put the blame on  President Museveni for not being straight on the issue of Banks, landlords and tenants as he announced total lockdown and sending people home saying, “We advised the Head of State on how to handle this matter but he all the time tells us how they will talk with the banks! Now landlords have sealed off shops demanding for three-months rent. Where do they expect tenants who are ‘quarantined’ in their homes to get money for rent? And the government is tight-lipped on this?” 

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“Landlords also claim they have loans to pay. I warned from the beginning of the lockdown that without handling loans of all Ugandans, an economic crisis is a reality Government must take responsibility.” Hon. Nsereko has said.

Abbey Kaddu, has however reminded Hon. Nsereko that, “Different banks (Stanbic, DFCU, Centenary, Tropical, Equity and others) have been calling upon those with loans to come and talk to their bankers and have the loan issue renegotiated basing on the prevailing situation. It needs all stakeholders to really give it serious thought.”

In response,  Nsereko has said, “You can’t pay what you didn’t make even if it’s 20 years. That’s why governments in other countries have borrowed to make bail outs for all their citizens.”

Banks calling clients to discuss loans have been challenged to remember that the country is in a total lockdown, both private and public transport were banned and president directed Ugandans to stay home. “So how do these banks want their clients to get to the banks so that they negotiate the loans? Let the bankers apply common sense or expect a mass demonstration after Lockdown.” Warned a concerned citizen after reading the Arcade owners’ excuse on sealing off shops until they are paid rent for three months.

Wondering why traders’ body KACITA is so silent about sealing off of shops by landlords during the lockdown, Mactosh Ib has written to MP Nsereko and telling him that its high time MPs took up this issue or else after lockdown lots of conflicts will arise. 

Angella Namirembe has said, “We were told not to pay rent during this lock down as though the government will give a hand some how as far as payment is concerned.”

“I know of landlords who depend on their rentals for a living. And considering how the distribution of posho is taking a snaiks speed, you are bound to sympathise with them. Secondly it’s given out to prioritized citizens after the chairman pointing at someone they think is vulnerable. Quite absurd!” Says Namirembe.

Bebeto Mukisa has wants the Central Business District (CBD) MP Nsereko to find a solution for the traders. He said “Personally I don’t know whether my shop is sealed off or not. Waiting to go there after lockdown. But incase it’s sealed as our MP what should we do?”

Sumaiyah Kyakuwa has supported landlords’ move to seal off shops saying that the arcades are a source of income to the owners and they have families to look after

Ahmed Kiyaga want Nsereko to table this issue in Parliament so that The House gives a pronouncement on this matter of National importance.

One identified as Muwaala Wa Nsubuga has told MP Nsereko that the issue is not only about arcade owners but even other landlords that are chasing tenants from their houses due to failure to pay rent in time.

“But people are not working. Every one is at his or her home. Businesses were closed, so are some offices. Where do they want us to get money and pay rent?” Says Muwaala wa Nsubuga asking Parliament to hurriedly sort out the loan issue or else, the situation is likely to get out of control.

Vincent Nzaramba has written to MP Nsereko looking at Uganda government as one which is only mindful of basic needs.

“Remind yourselves of ‘Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ to inform yourselves the  basis of President Museveni’s labour day speech and his mind. Food, clothings, shelter, and security is the first level in the hierarchy of human needs. Sex and others follow in the second level.” Said Nzaramba explaining that, “It is by keeping the population in the first level that he can to a certain degree succeed in the construction of a dynasty. He detests a commercial and intellectual class because it has interests to promote, protect, and defend. He has even gotten tired of buying it out because it is growing everyday.”

“So, during a crisis like this, he sees nothing but an opportunity to destroy a commercial and intellectual class and relegate them to the hand and hoe economy.  Uganda’s economy is largely agrarian  and mostly subsistence. These subsistence farmers feed themselves and take their children to UPE and USE Schools. They don’t give him much trouble but demand for physical security from him.” Reveals Nzaramba.


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