By Andrew Irumba
Mandela National stadium, popularly known as Namboole stadium is being sold to the highest bidder!
This is because the stadium is so indebted and can no longer operate adequately, which has left management with no choice but look for a private investor, since government can no longer fund the Stadium any more.
This shocking revelation was made a few days back to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by Jamil Sewanyana, the Managing Director of Namboole Stadium, who said that the company’s capacity to meet its long outstanding financial obligations has continued to be constrained because of uncollected money from the debtors including Fortune Energy Limited, NRM Party, FUFA and Pioneer Easy Bus Limited.
The debtors were listed in documents submitted to Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) by Sewanyana.
SpyUganda has learnt that the major debtors are Fortune Energy Limited owned by former MP Captain Mike Mukula, to which Mandela Sports Hotel was outsourced, has a debt of Shs735m, National Resistance Movement-NRM Party-Shs150.8M, Federation of Uganda Football Associations –FUFA- Shs205m and Pioneer Easy Bus Limited-91M.
The documents were demanded by PAC Chairperson Nathan Nandala for an inquiry to be carried out following a revelation in the June 2018 Auditor General’s report that the Stadium had accumulated domestic arrears of Shs875.3m.
Following allegations from different MPs about plans to privatize the Stadium, Moses Mwase, the Director Privatization Unit in the Finance Ministry, told PAC last month that the Stadium had not declared dividends since it has capitalization issues and has not been making profits.
He noted that consultations to bring a private developer on board have kicked off and that this would require funds to be availed by government for the Privatization Unit to carry out an analysis.
Mwase also said that they are looking at partnering with the Private Sector and not necessarily privatization since there are no plans to sell the Stadium completely.
According to Sewanyana’s documents before PAC, the stadium’s income for the period between 2017 to June 2018 was Shs3.56Bn and out of this, Shs3.01Bn was from internally generated revenue while Shs166m is a portion of government’s donation that was directly spent to pay for Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) taxes levied on Chinese donated sports equipment to the stadium, while Shs385m was the value of the Chinese donated items.
Management of Namboole Stadium is convinced that unless a Private Investor comes board things are bound to turn from bad to worse.