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NRM, FUFA & Mukula owe Namboole management UGX875M in arrears

Mwase ED Privatisation Unit, Christopher Mugisha Accountant and Jamil Ssewanyana Namboole MD respectively appearing before Public Accounts Committee on Thursday. (PHOTO/PML Daily)

KAMPALA -The management of Mandela National Stadium has listed a number of individuals and organisations that have failed to clear outstanding arrears, a development that has left the entity grappling with debts to a tune of UGX875M.

While appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Wednesday, August 21, the officials revealed that Fortune Energy Limited has deliberately refused to pay UGX735M to Mandela Sports Hotel in tenancy fees and it emerged that Fortune Energy Limited purportedly belongs to Captain Mike Mukula.

According to the breakdown, Fortune Energy has refused to pay UGX637M in rent from January 2017 to June 2018 and UGX6.6M in water and electricity bills as of June 2018.

The ruling party, NRM) also owes UGX150M from a number of party activities they held at the stadium like the 2010 NRM delegates conference and costs for storage of the party’s electoral materials during 2016/17 financial year.

The Federation of Uganda Football Association (FUFA) has only [aid its 1st and 2nd installments of the UGX205M from hosting matches and events at Namboole.

It should be recalled that in July 2019, PAC ordered a forensic audit into Mandela Memorial National Stadium, the body in charge of the management of Namboole national stadium after queries were raised on the Shs875,267,293M domestic arrears.

Chris Mugisha from Privatisation Unit told the Committee that the stadium is in a dilapidated state and called for recapitalisation so as to enable give the facility a facelift.

However, MPs wondered how the Management would require recapitalization yet the facility has a hotel, stadium and parking that they can use to generate revenue.

Mandela National Stadium, Namboole (FILE PHOTO).

Moses Mwase, Executive Director Privatisation Unit told the Committee that Namboole’s debt is as a result of under capitalisation adding that since the inception of the facility that boasts of 25,000 seats, the Mandela management has not declared dividends to government yet the facility is in a dilapidated state.

“We have started discussions on how to bring a third developer on board. It would require the Government to develop funds for us to do an analysis that would inform us on of the works to be done,” said Mwase.

The revelation shocked the Committee with MPs asking the Ministry of Finance to explain where all the money that has been collected from Namboole has been going to if no dividends have been declared since the stadium was opened up for public use.

The discussion around Namboole followed an observation by the Auditor General who revealed in the 2017/2018 audit report that domestic arrears had risen by 51% from 2017 to 2018.

The stadium was built with a grant of US$36M from China and it was opened in 1997 with a concert by late Lucky Dube and following its refurbishment of USD2.4m in 2004, the stadium was later named Mandela National Stadium after the former South African president, Nelson Mandela.

There were also queries raised on the ownership of the stadium with documents from the Ministry of Finance indicating the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance own 99% and 1% shares respectively, yet Charles Bakabulindi, State Minister of Sports had denied the stadium being under the management of Ministry of Education.

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