and Madinah Tebajjukira
THE Government is to recover sh4.1b paid to seven hotels to cater for Commonwealth delegates, who instead met their own costs.
The foreign affairs minister, Sam Kutesa, yesterday told MPs that sh2.7b will be recovered from Imperial Royale Hotel, sh389m from Munyonyo Speke Resort, sh327m from Serena Hotel and sh133m from Golf Course Hotel. Other hotels are Sheraton, which will refund sh389m, Imperial Royale (Globecast) sh47m and Imperial Botanical Beach sh36.5m.
Kutesa said Serena Conference Centre would refund sh1.4b given to it by the Government to refurbish two committee rooms, 21 offices, the main hall and the VIP lounge.
The minister told the committee evaluating expenditure on the summit that some of the delegates were not entitled to courtesies from the Government.
â€œWhen they came they paid.â€
In one instance for example, the Government booked 100 rooms at Imperial Royale Hotel to accommodate delegates to the Business Forum, but only 40 turned up.
Kutesa revealed that over sh270b was provided for the Commonwealth meeting held in Kampala in November 2007.
Kutesa said the hotel refunds were suggested by John Nyende and Company, a private firm, hired by the Government to audit expenditure on CHOGM.
The MPs wanted to know if guests stayed in J&M Airport Road Hotel, where the Government injected sh2.2b.
Without confirming if guest stayed in the hotel, Kutesa explained that in anticipation of a high turn up of delegates, the Government decided to support J&M to deliver an additional 200 rooms to the 5,000 rooms that were being prepared in Kampala and Entebbe.
Kutesa denied allegations by MP Odonga Otto that the ministry bribed legislators to pass the CHOGM budget.
â€œThere is absolutely no truth in that allegation. We have never bribed, neither do we intend to bribe.â€
Hotels to refund sh4b CHOGM cash