Members of the LandLord and Developers Association last week appealed to the Committee on Physical Infrastructure on issues regarding the currency of rent payment in the Landlord and Tenant Bill 2021.
Led by their chairperson Godfrey Kirumira, they proposed to the committee that the law should provide for tenants to pay rent in both dollars or Ugandan Shillings. However, the MPs rejected the proposal saying tenants are overcharged and cheated when they pay in dollars.
Commenting on the issue, RX Radio Presenter Fatboy said that the tendency of landlords charging in dollars must be a move to protect themselves from fluctuation of the shilling that deteriorates every now and then.
Olive added that “the dollar currency works for landlords because even when the shilling is losing value they make money and when the dollar rate goes high, they still remain in things. But then, where does that leave the tenant?” she asked.
“If tenants run businesses in Uganda shillings, they should be let to pay for their rent in Uganda shillings as well,” she recommended.
Fatboy, noting the dollar as a globally loved currency, said that in some countries like Zimbabwe, traders had stopped accepting the country’s dollar because of how it had deteriorated in value and instead preferred the American currency.
“Embracing the local currency would be a good sign of patriotism displayed by the Ugandan landlords, but it leads me to wonder whether using foreign currencies in trade is not colonialism,” he commented.
Olive replied by saying “Actually embracing our currency is the only way we can strengthen the shilling against foreign currencies, so the government needs to take a stance on this and remain by it.”
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, Sarah and Lesham every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.