CUCKOO LAND ‘HOTEL’ BACK IN HEADLINES
The problem riddled and never completed hotel complex along Entebbe road, conceived by the late Joseph Behakanira – he died in February last year within a day of being interrogated by a parliamentary committee investigating CHOGM fraud allegations and subsequently by the parliamentary detach of the CID – is back in the headlines once again. The receivers, Barclays Bank and the widow and presumed heir of the estate of the late developer have been sued for 9 million US Dollars by a Hong Kong based company, claiming payment and interest for the delivery or materials and related items dating back into 2006, when construction was underway aimed to have the hotel complex ready for use during the Commonwealth Summit.
However, full mouthed utterances of ‘1.000 rooms, 2.000 shops, airstrip and recreational facilities second to none’ soon came to naught when the Commonwealth Secretariat did not even include the place in their list of approved hotels. Not even a last second multibillion Shilling bailout with government money – the parliamentary enquiry demanded that the responsible ministers and civil servants be taken to court – did not help, as construction effectively stopped when the summit started, never to resume again on a full scale due to lack of money and what financiers belatedly realized, being of cuckoo land dimensions. Sitting on nearly 100 hectares of land, the prime site lies visibly idle, and the shops next to the road from Kampala to the Entebbe International Airport are empty, except for being used as storage spaces for materials. The initial building, first constructed, appears ready while many other structures have remained as shells for the past 5 years.
The plaintiffs are seeking a court order to prevent Barclays and Mrs. Behankanira from selling the property now under attachment, as has been advertised publicly, over fears that agreements to pay them with priority would not be respected.
Watch this space for updates on this matter, as and when court rules on the case before them.