Traders Threaten Shop Closures Over Proposed Rent Hike

Traders operating from the Shamba Complex, which is under the ownership of prominent city businessman Bosco Muwonge, have issued a stern warning of potential shop closures in response to a significant proposed increase in rental fees. The increase, amounting to a staggering 85%, is slated to take effect from September of this year.

According to the newly tabled fee structure, as of September 2023, the rental charges for all exterior shops situated on Shamba Complex facing Kiseka Market and Nabugabo Road are set to surge from the existing Shs2.5 million to Shs3.5 million. Similarly, those shops facing the recently established taxi park will experience a hike from their current rate of Shs2 million to Shs3 million.

A pivotal meeting convened at Shamba Complex earlier today saw the active participation of concerned traders. Among the attendees were the building’s manager, Florence Achan, accompanied by the Officer in Charge (OC) of Nakivubo Road Police Post, ASP Moses Ssalongo Kazibwe, and the Community Liaison Officer, Emily Aminah Afoyochan. During this gathering, the traders voiced their collective stance, asserting that the proposed escalation in rental fees was disproportionately burdensome, especially in light of the prevailing economic conditions. Consequently, they expressed their apprehension regarding the potential necessity to shut down their enterprises.

Within the same discourse, Florence Achan, the manager of Shamba Complex, disclosed that her superior had issued a directive permitting those traders who found the revised fees untenable to seek alternative premises.

However, ASP Emily Aminah Afoyochan implored the traders to refrain from resorting to a strike or any form of industrial action, citing the detrimental impact such actions could inflict on the broader economy.

The legislative context within which this conflict arises is the Landlords and Tenants Act of 2021. Passed by the parliament in 2022 and subsequently endorsed by President Yoweri Museveni, the law was specifically conceived to mitigate the frequency of protests and demonstrations that frequently emerge whenever landlords elect to augment rental charges for their properties.

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