Parliament to Review Government Investment in Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | The Parliamentary Committee on Trade, Tourism, and Industry has directed Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Limited to furnish audited financial statements. It was revealed that the facility hasn’t undergone an official audit in the last four years, mainly due to delayed government representative appointments to the Board.

Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort is a 5-star lakeside hotel and resort in Kampala, partially government-owned, with the government holding 25% of the shares through the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).

Dr. Patrick Birungi, the Executive Director of UDC, disclosed during his appearance before the committee that there have been no audited financial statements for the years 2019 and 2022 due to the delayed government board appointments.

The committee, led by Charles Okello, Member of Parliament for Nwoya East County, is investigating the government’s investment status in the luxury resort and conference facility.

Dr. Birungi explained that the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the availability of audited financial statements, as the quorum for the board and annual general meeting required government representation. However, many government officials were not in their positions during this period to facilitate the audit process.

The committee adjourned the probe after Dr. Birungi requested additional time to allow external auditors, UHY Thakkar & Associates, who were appointed on July 19, 2023, to complete ongoing financial audits for a more informed engagement.

Legislator Godfrey Odero from Samia Bugwe County South requested that UDC submit all audited financial statements from the time the government began investing in Munyonyo in 2007 when the country hosted the 20th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

Dr. Birungi noted that UDC has nominated Betty Katsimbazi and Stephen Mwanje as new Directors of Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, with Andrew Rugasira and Basil Ajer as alternate directors.

Sudhir Ruperalia, the Director of Meera Investments Limited, also owns a portion of Munyonyo. Sudhir and his co-director, Jyotsna Ruperalia, own ordinary shares, while his company holds additional shares.

It’s worth noting that the government contributed 15 billion Shillings in preparation for the 2007 CHOGM meeting held at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, and another 13 billion was spent on marina and pathways construction.

The Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development initially held government shares in Munyonyo Resort until 2022 when ownership was transferred to UDC, in compliance with the UDC Act of 2016.

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