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NSSF buys 20% stake in Serena Hotel

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th October 2007 03:00 AM

THE National Social Security Fund has acquired a 20% shareholding in the Kampala Serena Hotel for $1.95m (about sh3.5b). The plan to invest in Serena was first mooted when the hotel was privatised in 2004 but NSSF failed to implement the decision following the interdiction of top managers over a bot

THE National Social Security Fund has acquired a 20% shareholding in the Kampala Serena Hotel for $1.95m (about sh3.5b), report Geresom Musamali and Charles Bwogi.

Managing director Chandi Jamwa yesterday said the deal was one of many high-yielding investments the fund intended to make so as to pay better returns to workers, the savers.

“Five years from now some people will be laughing (all the way to the bank), and those will be the workers of Uganda,” he said.

Jamwa was speaking at the hand-over of the cheque for the shares at the hotel yesterday.

He said the workers would soon gain access to the details of the agreement.
Serena Hotel, the former Nile Hotel and the International Conference Centre, is owned by Tourism Promotion Services, an investment arm of the Aga Khan, and by a French property consultancy firm, Proparco.

The plan to invest in Serena was first mooted when the hotel was privatised in 2004 but NSSF failed to implement the decision following the interdiction of top managers over a botched housing deal with Kenyan-based businessman James Mugoya.

Rather than stall the deal, the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development offered to pay up NSSF’s contribution, interest-free.

“Everything possible has been done to ensure that the savers’ money is in safe hands under Serena Hotel investment,” said Jamwa.

NSSF’s board member Joyce Achigwa, who is also the credit evaluation manager of Stanbic Bank, will sit on the board to oversee the savers’ interests.

The hotel, which started operating in July 2006, registered a 74% occupancy against the expected 65% rate since the beginning of this year, officials said.
“The first three months were disappointing.

But since we stabilised, we have performed better than expected,” said Mahamud Jan Mohamed, the Tourism Promotion Services chief.

NSSF buys 20% stake in Serena Hotel

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