State House, Okello House Owner Bicker over Rent
By Serestino Tusingwire
State House is allegedly embroiled in a row with the owner of one of its rented premises over payment of rent in local currency.
The Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) while meeting with officials from state house on Thursday learnt that Alexander Okello, the owner of Okello House in Nakasero, an upscale suburb in Kampala, which houses some of the State House staff, wants the institution to pay its rent in dollars.
Lucy Nakyobe, the State House comptroller told MPs on the committee that according to Ministry of Finance standing orders, all government institutions must transact business, including payment of rent in Uganda shillings.
Nakyobe and some other officials had appeared before the committee to respond to queries raised by the Auditor General in his June 2014 and 2015 financial audits.
In the June 2015 report, the Auditor General queried the high rent arrears totaling Ugx1.2 billion, which State House had accrued by the time the audit had been done, yet the tenancy agreement had expired in 2013.
Some legislators including Theodore Ssekikubo, Lwemiyaga County MP, wondered why government has failed to find permanent occupancy for its staff in spite of having a lot of space at State House, Entebbe.
Nakyobe however explained that the matter was resolved and the arrears cleared.