Member of Parliament for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor has called out the Housing Minister and essentially government over a new directive to landlords to request for proof of negative COVID-19 test results from all potential tenants who are foreigners.
The new directive which was announced by Ghana’s Works and Housing Minister, Samuel Atta Akyea, forms part of government’s efforts towards containing the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the country, especially at the community level.
"Landlords must also be wary of potential tenants from foreign countries. It is very mandatory to insist that without a negative COVID-19 test clearance, the landlord should not rent out the premises". "We all know that this pandemic has been imported so be careful in the name of dollars, you don't bring in a foreigner who hasn't gotten a clearance that he has not been infected by the disease to come and live in your premises. I need not remind you that the virus is an importation from foreigners.", Mr. Atta Akyea said during a press briefing Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Reacting to the minister’s statement, however, Mr Dafeamekpor described Atta Akyea’s sentiments as discriminatory and to a larger extent, unlawful.
He questioned the rationale behind his proclamations and wondered why he would make such orders when there were no laws to back them.
“What in law, is a Covid-19 Clearance? Why is everyone suddenly creating their own laws? This declaration is discriminatory on grounds of ill-Health and palpably unlawful,” Rockson-Nelson’s tweet read.
Earlier, however, the Works and Housing Minister cautioned landlords against exploiting the Coronavirus crisis to the detriment of their tenants.
He warned the landlords to desist from ejecting tenants in a manner against the law, adding that such deviance would be dealt with by the law.
“We’re being admonished to stay at home as much as possible, and even with the lifting of the lockdown, you have to stay at home, but if where you are staying is having challenges because of the bad behaviour of a landlord or landlady, for that matter, it will be extremely not a Ghanaian attitude.”
“How is it going to work in this COVID environment if landlords with commercial appetite start evicting tenants from their premises? That will be very “unGhanaian,” the minister noted.
His proclamations on the request for proof of negative COVID-19 test results from all potential tenants who are foreigners have raised eyebrows as it seemingly falls in the category of exploitation.
Read his tweet below:
"It is illegal for Landlords to rent to foreigners without a Covid-19 Clearance". Hon. Atta Akyea
Me: What in law, is a Covid-19 Clearance? Why is everyone suddenly creating their own laws? This declaration is discriminatory on grounds of ill-Health and palpably unlawful.
— Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, Esq. MP. (@etsedafeamekpor) April 28, 2020