UDHIR EXPLAINS WHY UDC HASN’T BEEN ABLE TO ACCESS GOU SHARES IN MUNYONYO
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By Joel Mugabi
Wealthy businessman Sudhir Ruparelia has filed his response to concerns raised by Parliament’s Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry regarding government shares in Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Limited.
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On November 05, Jacqueline Muhimbise, writing on behalf of Clerk to Parliament Adolf Mwesige, had summoned Meera Investments Limited Managing Director to appear before the sectoral committee on tourism, trade and industry to shed more light on the issue of Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) and the management of Government’s shares in Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Limited.
“The committee has noted with concern that UDC as an investment arm of Government has not been availed an opportunity to manage the Government shares it owns in Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort,” Muhimbise. “As thus, you are invited for a meeting with the committee to explain the status of Government shares and the accessibility UDC has had to the shares, in order to efficiently manage them.”
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Parliament had set November 12 as the date for the meeting with Sudhir and ordered him to send copies of relevant documents by November 10. But the tycoon told the committee that Meera Investments Ltd’s Managing Director who is best suited to offer explanations on the matter 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.
In his response dated November 10, which was received by both the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) and the office of Clerk to Parliament on the same day, Ruparelia noted that Government, through MoFPED, holds 25 per cent of the shares (equivalent to 15,061,209, 120 ordinary shares).
The other shareholders are Meera Investments Ltd (8,434,277,107 ordinary shares), Sudhir Ruparelia (30,724,866,605 ordinary shares) and his wife Jyotsna (6,024,483,648 ordinary shares).
The city tycoon added that 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 per cent shares through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. GoU is free to decide by whom its shares are held,” explained Ruparelia. “We have not received communication from the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development regarding the decision to transfer its shares to UDC as choses 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.” (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us email@example.com).