Officials presently being grilled by parliament’s public accounts committee have been pushed into a corner over payments made to a half-baked hotel development on Entebbe road ahead of the Commonwealth Summit in 2007, when only days prior to the opening ceremony, the owners walked away with 2.4 billion Uganda Shillings of public funds.

Industry observers had termed the project from the onset a “cuckoo land” hotel, as the owners with no prior hotel management experience promised the public “1,000 rooms and 2,000 shops.” The hotel came into the bad news column when a structure collapsed during construction, killing and injuring workers and being shut down while investigations were ongoing. However, no court case has ever been brought, at least not as yet.

Meanwhile, it was equally clear to informed observers at the CHOGM time that this hotel was not only not on the list of approved CHOGM hotels, nor would it ever be ready in time, when the funds were dished out into the pockets of the reportedly well-connected owners.

Up to date, the unfinished construction litters the hill top, a stark reminder for everyone passing to and from Entebbe of the follies of this project.

The bureaucrats now under the spotlight, apparently running out of excuses, tried to shift the blame to a joint cabinet subcommittee and presidential directive, trying to escape the wrath of the parliamentarians who are now out to find culprits and bring them to book.

Read more about this ongoing saga and how allegedly Uganda’s public coffers were lightened through the following web links: