The Monitor (Kampala)
January 16, 2004

Badru D. Mulumba

Museveni Office Faces Nile Hotel 'Eviction'

President Museveni will be displaced as Nile Hotel begins renovations.

Finance minister Gerald Sendaula announced yesterday that the $19 million (Shs 37 billion) renovation of the hotel complex would require tenants to give way.

The renovation - the first in a two-phase process - kicks off on February 11, the day government will hand the complex over to Serena Hotels to run it for 30 years.

"All the people who are there should move out to allow for renovation," Sendaula said moments after signing the agreement with Serena Hotels, a hotel and tourist chain owned by His Highness the Aga Khan, the head of the worldwide Ismaili Muslim community.

"Should anyone want facilities thereafter, they should talk to the landlord."

Mr Museveni has offices on most of the upper side of the complex.

The planned renovation will increase the number of hotel rooms from 85 to 146. A second phase from 2005 to 2006 will add another 58 rooms.

Serena Hotels' managing director, Mr Mahmud Jan Mohamed, signed the agreement flanked by Mr Alan Shonubi of Shonubi, Musoke & Co. Advocates.

Serena will run the hotel for 30 years and pay 4 percent of its annual gross revenue to government in concession fees.

It has also paid an initial $1.2 million (about Shs 2.4 billion).

The chain will also pay a $3 million performance bond. Mohamed said the renovation will take 18 months.

"We will give Uganda a full five-star hotel that is second to none in this town."