Parliament has ordered the management of Namboole stadium to block the forthcoming NRM national delegate’s conference for alleged failure to clear a debt of UGX 188 million.
It came after Jamil Ssewanyana, the managing director of Namboole stadium told the committee on Commission, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises-Cosase chaired by Ibrahim Sseganda on Wednesday morning that, NRM has never paid for using the facility during the 2010 delegate’s conference despite numerous reminders.
Ssewanyana however, disclosed that they were engaging the NRM leadership to clear the debt before they host the next delegate’s conference.
However, Elijah Okupa, the Kasilo county MP informed the Namboole managers that their efforts wouldn’t yield results since there is evidence that NRM hasn’t met their due even after four years.
Asked how much he is hiring the stadium to NRM for the second delegate’s conference, Ssewanyana said they would pay Ugx 69 million per day for the four day they have booked the stadium.
Ssewanyana said they had got assurance the monies will be paid before the December delegates’ conference. The committee was surprised to note NRM has made a verbal commitment to pay the debt to which Namboole has accepted. Ssemujju noted that, NRM doesn’t want to pay its debts.
The committee resolved that accounting officer will pay on behalf of NRM if the debt isn’t settled before the next delegate’s conference. When contacted over the matter NRM’s deputy Treasurer Singh Katongole said they were in talks with Namboole and were ready to settle the debt.
He said there was no need to worry because they were committed to paying the debts but they were ironing out a few technical issues with the management.
The committee also heard that Pioneer bus and Fufa owe Namboole stadium Ugx180 million and Ugx170 million respectively. Police also owed the stadium Ugx 400 million but the money has since been paid.
In his audit report for the financial year ending 2013, the auditor general notes that the Namboole stadium rent arrears from clients rose from Ugx 77million to Ugx 917 million and that, the stadium didn’t have a clear policy on debt collection.
The MPs tasked the Stadium boss to explain why he has continued to register loses to the tune of Ugx 3 billion.
Ssewanyana said the model of the stadium is not modern enough to attract good businesses. He explained that the stadium was built on the 1972 model which is outdated compared to regional stadiums like one in Dar es salam.
He noted that, the technology which was used for items like lighting are out of supply adding that, they have looked for the original manufacturers in Chine but they were told they closed business.
Ssewanyana explained that, the stadium needs a complete overhaul if they are to attract business. He added that the frequent change of leadership at Namboole thwarted progress and running of the stadium.