Parliament has directed the Minister of Security, Gen. Elly Tumwine to vacate Nommo Gallery with immediate effect for failure to pay rent arrears that have accumulated since 1998.
The House was debating the Committee report on the Ministry of Gender Policy Statements for the financial year 2018/2019.
During the debate, the Committee Chairperson, Alex Ndeezi told Parliament that the Committee had received information that Creations Limited, a private company owned by the General has been occupying Nommo Gallery since 1998 but he has never paid rent to Uganda National Cultural Centre.
“Efforts to collect rent from Gen. Elly Tumwine have remained futile. By 2017, rent arrears had accumulated to Shs 1.62 billion and the Auditor General has raised concerns over the same matter,” MP Ndeezi said.
Ndeezi said it was disheartening that every financial year funds are allocated for the maintenance of the premises and in the FY 2018/19, Shs 44.6 million has been set aside for the same purpose.
In its report, the Committee strongly recommended that Creations Limited immediately pays rent arrears amounting to Shs 7.62 billion before the end of 2018 and vacates Nommo Gallery.
Ndeezi asked that a sum of Shs 44.6 million be re-allocated to National Council for Disabilities to procure office furniture and equipment and that no funds should be appropriated to Nommo Gallery for maintenance until all rent arrears have been recovered.
In her ruling, Speaker Kadaga noted that the issue of Nommo Gallery was a serious indictment to Parliament which has been budgeting for the maintenance of the gallery yet it actual sense, this money has been benefitting Gen Tumwine as an individual.
“If we don’t treat this impunity, one day, someone will come and take over Parliament and claim that it is his house claiming that he fought in the bush. So, this House directs Hon. Tumwine to pay off the rent but also to vacate because it is a public facility,” Kadaga directed.