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Juba residents decry stringent rules imposed by landlords

Land lords attending community meeting in Gurei suburb of Juba.

The shortage of decent housing across Juba city has forced many residents to question existing discriminatory rules imposed by property owners.

 Daniel Puje, a resident of Thongpiny suburb in Juba, is one of the people who attended a community dialogue in Gurei that discussed discriminatory practices some communities go through when seeking to rent houses.

He told The Dawn on Monday that some landlords imposed stringent rules on rent, due to fear of land grabbing from particular communities they are suspicious of.

“There are some communities but particularly soldiers who are refused because one rents a house and after one week you find a huge number of soldiers on guard, and other people rent a house but take three to four months without paying,” Puje said.

He disclosed that the relationship between landlords and tenants is not regulated by government, thus making it difficult to mediate in case of misunderstanding or conflict.

Aken Ajing, a 60 -year-old resident of Gurei, said that tribalism often rears it’s ugly head when some landlords are considering to rent out their houses.

 “Tribalism is not  simple, here in Juba people are now divided on tribal lines, we need to negotiate and see how we can shape South Sudan to become one mother with 64 children, we are south Sudanese and we need to resolve the endemic problem,” Ajing said.

Rose Juma, a landlord in Gurei called for the need to identify the background of would be tenants before renting out houses.

 “Tribalism is happening, some people come to rent but they do not abide by the agreement, we now need to identify whether the person is married or not, and we also have to find out the kind of job that person is doing,” Juma said.

Juma noted the need to end discrimination along tribal lines, arguing that a case of one errant person should be taken to represent an entire community from where he or she belongs.

Samuel Gano, alleged that some government officials and army generals end up forcefully grabbing property of some of their hosts using their position of power.

Bush Buse, the head of Salaam Junub initiative, established in 2018 to engage in community dialogue on land and housing matters agreed that discriminatory practices along community lines exist to date.

“There are some people from other tribes who find it difficult to get houses for rent, this has become a problem, we do not need to keep quite when there are wrong things happening,” said Buse.

 “There are people from some tribes who are suffering when they are looking for houses for rent because of negative perception about their community,” he added.

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