HomeBUSINESSThe Parliamentary Trade Tourism and Industries Committee has called off the payment...

The Parliamentary Trade Tourism and Industries Committee has called off the payment of a stimulus package of 3 billion shillings to Hotel Serena.

By Jimmy Muhumuza
Parliament

The Parliament Committee of Trade Tourism and Industries has stopped the payment of a stimulus package of 3 billion shillings to Serena Hotel by Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).

This was revealed by Uganda Developing Cooperation officials while appearing before the committee on trade, tourism and tourism chaired by Hon Mwine Mpaka. Who doubles as the Mbarara City South MP, the UDC team failed to defend why they needed to give the Kampala based hotel 3 billion shillings, and yet Serena Hotel is a Government tenant.

The document showing campaniles that had lineup up to share on stimulus package of Covid 19 relief fund

It should be noted that last year in October the UDB Board approved payment of 3 billion shillings to Nile Hotel, a government entity that promotes industrial and economic development to give to the Kampala Serena Hotel as a stimulus package after their operations were hit by COVID-19.

Serena Hotel is owned by a consortium that includes Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), a division of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and Proparco, a French property investment company.

According to UDC, they approved the funds following a request from the Nile hotel, the holder of the hotel on behalf of the government such that it is the Nile hotel to give to Serena expecting repayment.

Mwine Mpaka asked the UDC officers to explain who approved the stimulus, why the money was being given to Serena and how it was to be paid back?
Other MPs on the Committee, Hon David Kalwanaga, questioned the officials on which procedures they went through to reach the decisions of giving such hotels money leaving other local investors who were badly hit by Covid-19 crippling.

The UDC team led by Christine Zake the Director of Finance indicated that they were giving the stimulus to Serena as a loan since they were hit by COVID-19. She says that the money 3 billion was earmarked to be lent to their subsidiary, which is Nile Hotel.

Zake says the 3 billion is part of the 100 billion that the board approved for the stimulus package. When further asked she says the money was not given yet.

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