Energy Ministry Wants UGX 4B For Rent

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In short
The ministry of Energy has told Parliament that it is looking for 4 billion shillings that has accumulated since 2008 following non-payment of rent at Amber House.

The ministry of Energy has told Parliament that it is looking for 4 billion shillings that has accumulated since 2008 following non-payment of rent at Amber House.

Amber House is a Government property but the ministry has been paying rent since 2000 until 2008 when they stopped over controversial ownership of the premises.

Simon D’Ujanga, the State Minister for Energy, while defending their budget noted that the tenancy agreement between the Ministry and Amber House Limited expired on June 30, 2008. The Ministry has not been able to pay rent which is payable to Amber House Limited because funds have not been provided by the Ministry for rent and rent arrears.

He notes that government is still in the process of harmonizing ownership of Amber House insisting that there is no crisis.

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D’Ujanga explained to MPs on the Natural Resources committee that Amber House was incorporated on January 1, 1954 as limited liability company and its sole business is letting out of office space. The company is registered proprietor of property comprised in Amber House and the adjacent open parking space currently let out to Standard Chartered Bank.

He says that the land occupied by the building, on Plot 49 Kampala Road, belongs to government and was leased to Amber House Limited for 99 years on October 1, 1953. In 1956 the land was mortgaged to Uganda Electricity Board and Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) as share holders. UDC later sold its shares to Lint Marketing Board (LMB) and Coffee Marketing Board (CMB).

According to the minister, CMB later sold its shares to UEB and the shares of LMB reverted to UEB when it was divested. This meant that UEB retained 100% property rights over Amber House.

Following the liquidation of UEB, all shares held in Amber house were transferred to the Ministry of Finance who later transferred 10,000 shares of the company to Minister of State for Finance in charge of privatization in order to comply with legal obligations of minimum of two shareholders for a limited liability Company.

But the MPs are not convinced. The same question has been asked every financial year without clear answers from the Ministry of Energy.

Anifa Kawooya, Sembabule Woman MP and Yaguma Wilberforce for Kashari County demanded evidence of payment, the person getting the money and exactly how much was being expended each month.

Kawooya believes that the ministry has generated enough money to cover their expenses.