The Observer Editorial | Kudos to Parliament for passing law ending payment of rent in dollars

Posted May 15, 2017 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Opinion ~ 3,352 views


Last week, parliament passed a piece of legislation that did not get a lot of media attention but must have, nonetheless, put smiles on the faces of many tenants of commercial properties, especially in the capital Kampala.

This new law, which is formally called the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2017, has sections that bar property owners in any part of Uganda from charging rent in foreign currency.

According to the law, which is awaiting President Museveni’s signature before it can be implemented, all rental agreements must be executed using the Uganda shilling.

If President Museveni assents to this law, then it will bring to a halt the now- prevalent tendency by property owners in Kampala to charge rent for commercial space in foreign currency, of which the most commonly preferred is dollars.

This practice works against the economy on both micro and macro levels. At the micro level, tenants lose money on a monthly basis since they have to change their earnings from shillings to foreign currencies such as dollars in order to pay rent, in most cases, to fellow Ugandans.

Secondly, the practice constantly weighs down the Uganda shilling in its battle to keep up with foreign currencies. This contributes to regular depreciation of the shilling, thereby reducing the purchasing power of our currency at home and its value on the global stage.

Although the passing of this law is likely to boost the shilling and, by ripple effect, the whole economy, some sections of our society are already up in arms against it.

Prominent property owners in Kampala say they will petition the president not to assent to the law, so that they can continue with a practice that benefits a few and negatively affects many.

It is important, however, that President Museveni stands up to these property owners, respects the well-considered decision of parliament and signs a law that will take away some of the burden that tenants have faced for a long time.

Source — The Uganda Observer Editorial

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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