The Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) has made a Shs 30m cash donation to the National COVID-19 Fund to supplement government efforts in the fight against CoronaVirus in Uganda.
The donation was officially handed over Wednesday by Susan Muhwezi, the Chairperson of the hoteliers body, to Minister Mary Karooro Okurut who supervises the National Covid-19 Fund and PwC’s Francis Kamulegeya who is a member on the Fund committee.
Susan Muhwezi was accompanied by Sheraton Hotel Kampala General Manager, Jean Philippe Bittencourt and the UHOA Vice Chairperson, Boniface Byamukama.
Susan Muhwezi says the contribution was made on behalf of member hotels who heeded our call to support our government fight this pandemic.
“We are honored and pleased to present our contribution of Thirty Million shillings (shs 30M) to the National COVID Relief fund to supplement government efforts in the fight against CoronaVirus in Uganda,” Susan said in a statement.
Hotels have been greatly affected by the Covid 19 Pandemic.
“As we speak, occupancy rates have dropped to less than 5%, 90% of our staff (400,000) are at home with no salaries and we are struggling to meet our statutory tax obligations despite the lack of business,” she added.
Nonetheless, the UHOA Chairperson says the Association deemed it right “to come to the aid of our government and add our voice as hotel owners in the fight against Covid 19”.
The Shs 30m was pooled among some 105 hotels that are part of UHOA.
“We hope that this modest contribution will go a long way in offering relief to our fellow countrymen among whom are hotel staff and tourism industry colleagues who are now facing an uncertain future with no guaranteed income to sustain their families every month,” Susan Muhwezi said.
She raised the issue of job security for the hotels’ staff which she said is of paramount importance and priority.
“Our association will take all necessary precaution to guide our members in ensuring that staff are handled very carefully and humanely in the midst of this pandemic”.
UHOA commended government for the excellent job done to keep Ugandans safe.
“Uganda has been exemplary in the management of this pandemic and we are all immensely proud and grateful for all the efforts put forward. This is why despite the grim situation we are currently facing, we felt it right to share a token of our appreciation with the National Taskforce”.
UHOA is a trade and lobbying organization that includes almost all of the nation’s hotels, lodges and camps among its members.