State House Officials Grilled Over Sh1.2bn Okello House Rent Arrears

State House Comptroller, Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye told MPs that the Okello House rent arrears have already been cleared.

Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has Thursday quizzed State House officials led by the State House Comptroller, this Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye for occupying Okello House without a valid tenancy agreement.

Nakyobe and other officials had appeared before the committee to give response to queries that were raised the 2014/2015 Auditor General’s report.

According to the report, abortion State House’s Tenancy Agreement with the Okello House Landlord Alexander Okello expired in 2013 and had not been renewed to date.

As such State House’s outstanding rent arrears accumulated to a tune of Sh 1, 272, 363, 507 which MPs noted was a big risk.

In her response however, Nakyobe explained that by the time of Audit, State House had not paid rent to the landlord as there was no valid Tenancy Agreement.

The Tenancy Agreement, she said, could not be renewed since the premises were a subject of a mortgage dispute between the lender (Standard Chartered Bank) and the Borrower (Mr. Okello).

“The lender claimed to have taken over the responsibility of the premises in accordance with the provisions of the mortgage agreement. However, the parties resolved their disputes and a new tenancy agreement was signed against which payments have since been made.”

Nakyobe further explained “The tenants agreement was signed and the money Sh1.2bn was paid; we don’t have any arrears now, what is happening now are the current ones because we don’t have an agreement.”

“We need a new contract signed because the last one expired in October 2016. We are now a few months into a new contract which is yet to be signed; We have given the new contract to Mr. Okello to append his signature because everything is sorted showing how much should be paid.”

“However, Mr. Okellohasn’t signed the contract because we have put the agreement in Uganda Shillings yet he wants to be paid in dollars, that’s the problem we are facing.”

Okello House, located on plot 10A Nehru Avenue, overlooking Nakasero Primary School, has since 1994 been occupied largely by presidential aides and other officials.


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