Has Uganda Government Suspended Rent For 3 Months?

Claims that the President of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, has suspended rent for 3 months because of COVID-19 have been circulating online.

Background

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020, countries around the world have adopted various measures to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

In East Africa, those measures have included the suspension of international flights, closure of schools, bans on public gatherings and more.

Effects of the pandemic on the region’s economy are expected to be felt in the member states as more and more strict measures are being put in place for the public’s safety. The immediate ones, however, like job losses, are already hitting residents hard.

As a result, in order to cope with the tough times, there have been reports of waivers of various fees. For instance, mobile money transaction fees have been dropped by Safaricom in Kenya and Airtel in all the three East African states of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The move has been mainly attributed to the need to reduce the spread of the virus through physical access to cash.

It is now emerging that the same is being extended to other sectors of the economy. In Kenya, for instance, Michael Munene, a landlord, is reported to have waived rent for the tenants of his 28 residential units in Kinangop, Nyandarua county.

As such, and in light of waivers that have been announced in other countries around the world in these trying times, it is easy for word on such-like waivers being announced to travel fast, however questionable.

In Uganda, where the above claims are said to have been announced, President Museveni has been communicating publicly through his Twitter account on the measures the East African nation is taking to stop the spread of COVID-19. On March 10, he shared guidelines that had been published by Uganda’s Health Minister, Dr Ruth Aceng, with respect to mass gatherings in the country. His most recent address to Ugandans was on March 22nd, following confirmation of the first case of COVID-19.

The country’s health ministry, too, has been keeping the public updated via frequent press announcements.

Verification

The President delivered an address to the nation on COVID-19 that was broadcast on all media channels across the country. He announced the closure of schools and places of worship, quarantine measures for citizens and foreigners, travel restrictions and regulations, suspension of monthly markets for 32 days, regulations on weddings and funerals, and a ban on places of social interaction such as bars.

There’s yet to be any official communication on the decision to suspend rent in Uganda by the relevant authorities.

Verdict

Claims that President Yoweri Museveni has suspended rent for 3 months due to the Coronavirus are FALSE.

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Piga Firimbi

Peris Gachahi

Peris Gachahi is a reporter at Africa Uncensored.She is passionate about human interest stories told through in-depth documentaries, data stories and digital storytelling.