“Kampala Hilton” development in “a big mess”


KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) – More and more questions are being asked why the notorious Hamid brothers of “Aya” fame were initially chosen to develop a major hotel at one of the best sites in the city, on top of Nakasero Hill, for which the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation had to hurriedly shift to other premises.

The project, which the brothers promised would be completed within a year after breaking ground in 2006, never took off and was bodged with financial, planning and other problems.

Instead of “building a floor a week,” the project is stuck at fourth floor level and no visible activity is taking place on the site which started nearly three years ago. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (or CHOGM) has come and gone and so have other major summits, leaving the place as a miserly building site moving at snail’s pace or standing still.

The latest set back, reported in the local media, is a claim of nearly US$2.5 million by the project’s lawyers, reportedly already confirmed in court, leaving the brothers again reeling, yet more discredited in the public eye and, as always, resorting to more full mouthed statements bare of reality.

The High Court in Kampala has, in the meantime, ordered the sale of the property, a decision likely to be appealed in higher courts, but also indicative that time for the brothers may finally run out.

Sources from within the hotel industry openly question the capacity of the brothers to complete the project and suggestions have been made for government to take over the project and seek a more capably and competent party to complete it under a joint venture.