The bill that is now awaiting president assent sets a one-year jail term, or payment of an equivalent of three months’ rent in lieu, for a landlord who unlawfully evicts a tenant. But the provisions of the law have evoked contention among members of Kampala City Traders Association- KACITA, property owners and property managers in Kampala.
the most controversial provision is that all rent shall be settled and recorded in Shillings, contrary to the initial proposal that parties can agree to transact in any other currency in the agreement.
The clause had been supported by Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko who observed a need to protect tenants from paying rent in foreign currency due to fluctuations in foreign exchange. Nsereko’s argument was based on numerous petitions by Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) and tenants in the city who want all rent transactions made in Shillings.
Nzoghu, who doubles as the Shadow Works and Transport Minister, also argues that parliament shouldn’t be seen to be interfering with affairs between landlords and tenants but rather it should ensure that there is a mechanism of resolving disputes and streamline the relationship between the two parties.
Appearing before the committee on Physical Infrastructure on Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer of Namulondo Investments Limited, Lillian Ssentamu Kaddu said that jail terms in the Bill for breaches should be deleted or amended by setting heavier fines.
Joel Cox Ojuko, a member of the Commission, says that the Bill is timely in regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants. He says that it will curb on the rampant forceful evictions, destruction of property and strikes by tenants mainly in metropolitan areas.