KAMPALA – As Uganda braces itself for the fight against the deadly COVID19, the Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko has called for relaxation on payment of loans, rent and utilities to help Ugandans cope with the global pandemic.
Nsereko made the call on Monday, March 23 while addressing journalists at Parliament in which he called upon public to take precaution to be aware that virus kills and do social distancing as recommended by the Ministry of Health.
He also cautioned Ugandans against stigmatising individuals who test positive to the deadly disease saying the victims didn’t apply to fall sick and also warned Ugandans that any one can fall victim to Coronavirus.
Although Nsereko welcomed some of the directives by President Yoweri Museveni geared towards controlling congestion, he said that the 32 days period in which to implement the directives are too many because the city is likely to shut down, a move that will leave about 2.5million people within the city without any source of income.
Among his proposals is the call to Bank of Uganda to come up with directives to commercial banks to reschedule loans of all those indebted for 90-120 days because the borrowers have been affected by coronavirus disruptions.
On relaxing of rent, Nsereko who oversees Central business argued, “There are many people that operate commercial buildings and we have to strike balance that we don’t accept eviction of people who fail to pay rent as well as relax payment on rental taxes for 90-120 days.
“We urge all of you to see it wise to consider this in order to achieve social distancing. Bank of Uganda should talk banks to relax and reschedule loans. This is also the time that utility companies must consider not charging bills. NWSC is fully owned company not to charge water bills we want people to continue washing hands and if water is expensive it will yield causes of virus. The President should issue directive to NWSC to stop charging water bills,” said Nsereko.
The Kampala Central MP also argued that there is need for Umeme to restrain disconnecting power for next 90 days or reschedule payment and urged Government to rethink it’s decision to private an important sector like electricity.
In his proposals, Nsereko called on National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to allow saverd access funding to tune of10% stating that the move will be critical at encouraging to save.
Nsereko also commended the medical team that has put it’s line to ensure the pandemic doesn’t cause a catastrophe in Uganda and called on Government to give the medical team a daily motivational allowance, “We should consider an allowance from every person guarding quarantine centers. Can we consider increasing payment to people,” said Nsereko.