MPs from Kampala City have urged government to suspend interest on loans as a measure to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the population in Uganda. Legislators also want rental fees suspended for a specific period of time to avoid economic stress that may arise as a result of the outbreak.
Hon. Muhamad Nsereko (Kampala Central) says the recent measures undertaken by government to mitigate the outbreak are likely to have adverse effects on the livelihoods of people. He says, 2.5 million people in Kampala are likely to suffer the effects of slow-down closures of businesses sending majority into desperation.
“To avoid economic distress as a result of business disruptions due to the set out prevention measures, commercial banks should suspend interest on loans for at least 90 days” He said. Nsereko says landlords should also consider relieving tenants from rent both on commercial and residential houses, as the country struggles to shake off the effects of the outbreak. This he says has been done in several countries hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
Legislators say, the presidential directives which emphasize social distancing will not be implemented if the population is not supported to maintain a financial stress-free life.
Hon. Nsereko says government should also prevail over utility providers like National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and UMEME, to ensure no more disconnections are effected for the next 90 days to avoid stress since many people will be staying home from work.
The legislators want National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to allow savers partial access to their funds during this period.
“As people stay home, they must have solutions to their other needs like feeding. Don’t expect people to stay home when interest on loans are accumulating” Hon. Nsereko said.
Hon. Allan Sewanyana (Makindye West) urged government to provide free face masks the way government provided free condoms in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The MPs also propose that government should consider giving extra allowance to people at the frontline in the coronavirus fight including medical staff, nurses, police, ambulance drivers, and police officers manning quarantine centers. This they say will boost their morale and improve effectiveness.