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Traders flee city malls over rent


Haruna Sentongo

By Tonny Abet
City traders have continued to flee shops in malls even as landlords waive rent arrears accumulated during the three months of lockdown.

Many are worried about making payment for the subsequent months due to the uncertainties that lay ahead.

After the traders last week petitioned parliament asking for a stimulus package and government safeguard to be able to operate, landlords responded by waiving rent for tenants, with some giving up to three rent-free months to new tenants.

Haruna Ssentongo, one of the city landlords with about 500 tenants said earlier that he was giving traders who are coming in as new tenants three months to stabilize in business before starting to pay rent, while the sitting tenants he has foregone payment for the past three months.

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However, traders like Geoffrey Kauma who operates at Aponye Mall say that although their engagement with landlords yielded the pardon they still have no money for rent as business is still low and buyers are few despite partial easing of the lockdown last month.

“We wanted the landlord to atleast write off rent arrears for the months of April and May but he only did it for one month,”said Kauma.

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