Over 500 Staff Of Pearl Of Africa Hotel Axed: Hotel In UGX 39M Tax Default Mode!

Over 500 Staff Of Pearl Of Africa Hotel Axed: Hotel In UGX 39M Tax Default Mode!

By Andrew Irumba

Mr Lawrence Kulanga, the hotel’s Human Resource Manager on Tuesday informed the 500 hotel staff that their positions were under review in a transitioning process as the hotel restructures.

In the letter dated September 1, the hotel moved the working terms of their staff from permanent to casual after a new investor cashed in.

We have identified an operator of international repute and the hotel is in process of transitioning to the management of the operator. The transition is expected to last approximately two months. During the transition period, you will be hired as a casual worker under evaluation and you will be paid as necessary,” the letter read in part.

According to sources, the hotel will be operating under the name, ‘Wyndham Hotel Kampala’.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts is an International Hotel and resort chain based in the United States. It has locations in Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Turkey, Germany, the UK, the Caribbean and Margarita Island In Venezuela.

It also has five hotels in four African countries comprising two brands (four Ramada hotels and one Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham).

Financial woes and court battles

Pearl of Africa Hotel woes started to surface after South African construction company,  Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd threatened to block operations of the hotel over breach of contract.

The South African company alleged that Aya failed to pay them $118m (Shs429bn) accruing from a contractual agreement during the building of the hotel in 2007.

However, the High Court granted an application for an interim order to Aya Investments blocking Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd from interrupting operations of Pearl of Africa Hotel on allegations of breach of contract.

The hotel has also been battling with financial woes including meeting tax obligations.  KCCA threatened to close the hotel in August 2018 after the facility failed to pay Shs39m outstanding Local Hotel Tax.

The hotel requested to pay the tax in four installments but KCCA rejected.

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