Munyonyo Resort Audit Delay Halts Committee Inquiry Progress

Financial statements for Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Limited (MCWRL), a partially government-owned Victoria lakeside retreat, have not been audited for the last four years, Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) has confirmed.

Government, through UDC, holds 25 percent shares or 15,061,309,120 shares out of the 60,244,836,480 paid-up shares in Munyonyo Resort. UDC Executive Director, Dr. Patrick Birungi, informed the Committee on Trade, Tourism, and Industry that Munyonyo Resort lacks audited financial statements for the period 2019 to 2022 due to the delayed appointment of government representatives to the Board.

Birungi stated, “There haven’t been audited financial statements since 2019 to 2022, and the main reason being that, apart from Covid-19 which was more challenging, the quorum for both the Board and Annual General Meeting required that there is a government representative, and at that time, most of the government officials were not in those positions that they held. Therefore, they weren’t in those meetings, and we couldn’t get those audited accounts.”

The committee, chaired by Hon. Charles Okello (DP, Nwoya East County), could not proceed with the probe after Birungi requested more time to allow external auditors to complete the ongoing financial audits.

“The financial statements for the period 2019 to 2022 are currently being audited following the appointment of auditors on 19 July 2023…If the committee can give us two months [to get the audited financial statements], then we can have a better engagement,” he said. Audits are being conducted by external auditors-UHY Thakkar & Associates.

UDC has nominated Betty Katsimbazi and Stephen Mwanje as new directors of MCWRL, with Andrew Rugasira and Basil Ajer nominated as alternate directors.

Hon. Godfrey Odero, Samia Bugwe County South Member of Parliament, urged UDC to submit audited financial statements for all the previous years from the time government started investing in Munyonyo.

“We have not been in a position to get those other financial statements. As you hand in those statements for the last four years, you should also hand in those from the time the contract was signed,” he emphasized.

Committee Deputy Chairperson, Hon. Catherine Lamwaka, stressed the importance of having the audited financial statements to inform the committee’s decision.

“Our feasibility assessment of the performance of Munyonyo Resort relies on those financial statements. So, let us give UDC time to finalize the audits, and they should immediately notify the committee so that we can assess whether the government should continue investing in Munyonyo or not,” Lamwaka concluded.

The Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development was the shareholder of government shares in Munyonyo Resort until 2022 when the ownership was transferred to UDC in compliance with the UDC Act, 2016.