KAMPALA – City tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia has responded to inquiries by Parliament’s Committee on Tourism, Trade, and Industry explaining government shares in Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Limited.
Ms. Jacqueline Muhimbise, representing the Clerk to Parliament Adolf Mwesige, had in a letter dated November 5 summoned Meera Investments Limited Managing Director to appear before the sectoral committee to explain the fate of the shares supposed held on behalf of the government by the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).
But in a letter to the Clerk on November 10, Mr. Sudhir says the responsibility to explain the management of the government shares lies with the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Mr. Matia Kasaija.
The tycoon explained the government had the right to choose which entity should hold its shares on its behalf but added he was yet to receive directives to transfer the shares from MoFPED to UDC.
“GOU holds the 25 percent shares through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. GoU is free to decide by whom its shares are held,” he explained.
“We have not received communication from the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development regarding the decision to transfer its shares to UDC as the chosen and preferred entity to hold GoU shares. In case we missed it, kindly share a copy so that when we appear we address you about it appropriately through the normal procedures for transfer of shares and UDC will then be the entity holding GoU shares.”
Correspondences show that the UDC Executive Director Dr. Patrick Birungi, in a November 2 letter to the Clerk to Parliament explained that after guidance of the Solicitor General, he notified the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance to start the process of transferring the government shares to the UDC through the right procedure.
The committee had invited the Meera Investments Limited Managing Director to appear on November 12, but Mr. Sudhir says the MD would be returning on the evening of the same day the interaction with the committee was meant to happen, consequently asking for the rescheduling of the meeting.
According to information on the record, the Government, through MoFPED, holds 25 percent of the shares (equivalent to 15,061,209, 120 ordinary shares) in the joint venture that owns the resort.
The other shareholders are Meera Investments Ltd (8,434,277,107 ordinary shares), Sudhir Ruparelia (30,724,866,605 ordinary shares) and Jyotsna Ruparelia (6,024,483,648 ordinary shares).