Jinja Municipal Leaders Block Demolition of Ripon Falls Hotel

7749 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
Ripon Falls Hotel is one of the countrys first hotels. Located along Nile Crescent Avenue opposite Jinja Sailing Club, it is remembered as a place where Queen Elizabeth slept on her first visit to Uganda to commission the Owen Falls Dam in 1954.

Jinja district municipal leaders have suspended the demolition of Rippon Falls Hotel by a land developer.
  
This morning a group of men started removing iron sheets from one of the buildings of the hotel drawing outrage from people living near the hotel.
  
The land on which the hotel sits has 27 households. It is these who protested the demolition of one of Uganda's oldest hotels.
  
In 2014, Ripon Falls Hotel was one of the buildings that Jinja Municipal Council resolved to for historical and tourism value.
  
Jinja Municipality mayor, Majid Batambuze, says council is not aware of any investor who is interested in developing the hotel.
 
"We have preserved this place and we want a developer who can build a five star hotel here to boost tourism in the municipality. For now we are not aware of anyone interested in developing this place." he said.
  
He adds that the municipal council has interests in the hotel because any developer who expresses interest in the hotel must first pay 100 million shillings accrued in ground rent and property that has accumulated over the years.
 
Meanwhile the municipality is also entangled in wrangles over ownership of the place with two businessmen claiming to have been approved by the custodian board.

  
The Custodian Board is a body that managed properties left by Asians after their expulsion from Uganda in 1972.
  
One of the people claiming ownership of the hotel, Ben Koyesiga, says he is surprised that someone can come from nowhere and claim that he owns the hotel complex.
  
Ripon Falls Hotel is one of the country's first hotels. Located along Nile Crescent Avenue opposite Jinja Sailing Club, it is remembered as a place where Queen Elizabeth slept on her first visit to Uganda to commission the Owen Falls Dam in 1954.
  
It was named after President Rippon of the French Royal Georgraphical Society who funded the expedition for the discovery of the Source of the Nile.
  
By the time of filing this report, police had deployed at the hotel and the demolition had stopped.

 

About the author

Beatrice Nyangoma
Beatrice Nyangoma values her independence as a journalist. This was one of her major considerations before she became a URN staffer in 2015.

Nyangoma says, "I like URN because it gives me room to decide what stories I want to work on. That is so important to me."

The URN Jinja bureau chief since July 2016, Nyangoma considers health matters a beat close to her heart. One of the highlights of her career so far were her exclusive interviews unveiling the rot in Mulago hospital in early 2016.

Nyangoma started out writing for the Red Pepper newspaper in 2011 in her final year of university. She was majorly a health reporter. In 2012, Nyangoma moved to Top Television as a health, business reporter and weekend news editor. She was also the assistant editorial manager of Kabarole Research and Resource Centre FM (KRC FM).