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Munyonyo Resort Audit Delay Hampers Committee Inquiry

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Limited (MCWRL), a government-partly-owned retreat on the shores of Lake Victoria, has not undergone financial audits in the last four years, confirmed by the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).

The government, represented by UDC, holds a 25 percent stake in Munyonyo Resort, which amounts to 15,061,309,120 shares out of the total 60,244,836,480 paid-up shares. Dr. Patrick Birungi, UDC’s Executive Director, informed the Committee on Trade, Tourism, and Industry that Munyonyo Resort lacked audited financial statements from 2019 to 2022 due to the delayed appointment of government representatives to the Board.

Birungi explained, “There haven’t been audited financial statements since 2019 to 2022, mainly because, apart from the challenges posed by Covid-19, the quorum for both the Board and Annual General Meeting required government representation. At that time, many government officials were not in those positions they held, so they were absent from those meetings, and we couldn’t obtain the audited accounts.”

The committee, chaired by Hon. Charles Okello (DP, Nwoya East County), had to postpone the investigation as Birungi requested more time for external auditors to complete the ongoing financial audits.

Birungi stated, “The financial statements for the period 2019 to 2022 are currently under audit following the appointment of auditors on 19 July 2023… If the committee can grant us two months [to obtain the audited financial statements], we can engage more effectively.” UHY Thakkar & Associates are the external auditors handling the audits.

UDC has nominated Betty Katsimbazi and Stephen Mwanje as new directors of MCWRL, with Andrew Rugasira and Basil Ajer nominated as alternate directors.

Hon. Godfrey Odero, Samia Bugwe County South Member of Parliament, urged UDC to provide audited financial statements for all previous years from when the government started investing in Munyonyo.

He emphasized, “As you submit statements for the last four years, you should also provide statements from the time the contract was signed.”

Committee Deputy Chairperson, Hon. Catherine Lamwaka, stressed the importance of having the audited financial statements to inform the committee’s decisions.

Lamwaka concluded, “Our evaluation of Munyonyo Resort’s performance relies on these financial statements. Let’s allow UDC time to complete the audits, and they should promptly inform the committee so we can assess whether the government should continue its investments in Munyonyo or not.”

Until 2022, the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development was the shareholder of government shares in Munyonyo Resort. Ownership was then transferred to UDC in accordance with the UDC Act, 2016.

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