The 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga on Wednesday okayed the planned demolition of the old Crested Crane Hotel hotel to pave way for the commencement of a Shs20 billion Institute infrastructure development project.
Meeting a delegation from the Tourism ministry led by Tourism minister Col (Rtd) Tom Butime at her office at the Ministry of East African Affairs on Wednesday, Kadaga urged the ministry officials to ensure that contractors do quality work.
The meeting followed reports in the media claiming that Busoga leaders were locking horns over the demolition of the condemned structure housing the original Crested Crane Hotel.
Kadaga who also, doubles as the Kamuli district Woman MP, said Busoga leaders cannot stand in the way of the multi-billion project but want to ensure that there is value for money.
“We are not planning to disrupt the project. We just want to ensure that the region is not short-changed with new infrastructure that doesn’t measure to the required standards,” she said.
Kadaga was in the company of State Minister for Lands and Housing, Persis Namuganza, who wondered why the new hotel was made three-star and not five star despite its prime location in the heart of Jinja city.
“Why are we having a three-star and not five star hotel. Remember we are looking at optimally using land,” Namuganza said.
The Tourism ministry Permanent Secretary, Mrs Doreen Katusiime, however explained that the Crested Crane Hotel is an application hotel and world over, application hotels are three-star.
The Institute secured a World Bank loan for infrastructure development, including the construction of a Shs24 billion hotel to replace the old hotel and an additional Shs20 billion to construct a modern tourism school.
The meeting also resolved to have government take over the ownership of the Rippon Hotel that housed the Queen of England when she came to Uganda to commission the Owen Falls Dam in 1954.
The meeting was also attended by State Minister for Tourism Martin Mugarra, UHTTI Principal Richard Kawere and his deputy Moses Kaneene and Ministry of Tourism director Basil Ajer, among other officials from the Tourism ministry.