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Student youth leaders on the run over sh40m debt at Grand Global Hotel

A group of student youth leaders from the different high institutions of learning organized the National Youth Leadership and Empowerment Summit that took place between 24th August to 26th August at Grand Global Hotel in Kampala with an agenda of empowering the youths and preparing them to be better leaders of today and tomorrow.

The event attracted over 1000 students and their leaders from across the country. The organizing committee comprised of Mr Kato Sserusiba Joseph as the Chairperson, Hon. Roy Rugumayo Kushemererwa as the Vice President of East African Students Union, Piloya Barbra Nyeko, Mushabe Lawrence, Habaasa Daniel, Baguma Bagonza among others.

A number of senior citizens were invited to lecture and orient the youth in the 3-day summit and they happened to honour their invitations. Among them were Capt Mike Mukula the NRM CEC Vice Chairperson Eastern Region, Hon Chris Baryomunsi Minister for ICT, and Hon Ibrahim Kitatta the Lwengo District LCV Chairperson.

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Other notable members present included; Lt. Col Kitanda who represented Gen. James Birungi of CMI, ENG. Kamugisha Raymond Director of Project and Industrial Hubs represented the Statehouse Comptroller Jane Barekye, and Hon Hamson Obua Govt Chief Whip who represented President Yoweri Museveni, among others.

The summit went on successfully but was hit with financial shortages as the expenses exceeded the budget that had been earlier drafted due to the large number of students that had turned up.

Some of the guests and NRM bigwigs at the National Students Leaders Empowerment Summit which happened in August 2023

With this happening amidst the summit, a solution had to be found. The organizing committee held an emergency meeting with the Hotel leadership led by its Manager and Ms Maziirwe Hope on behalf of the State House and PSS to HE President Museveni.

As the summit reached its closure, the organizers had an outstanding debt of 40,000,000 shillings with the Hotel Management. Ms Maziirwe Hope on behalf of the State House and PSS to the President signed a commitment letter assuring the Hotel Management that the State House would clear the debt by Monday 28th August 2023.

This publication happened to gain access to a copy of this commitment letter. But since her commitment, days, weeks and months have passed without the debt being cleared.

On the 11th of September 2023, the Hotel Management wrote to the organizing committee reminding them that the payment of the 40,000,000 debt had not been effected.

The Hotel’s letter demanding the arrears

As pressure mounted on the organizers, they on the 18th of September 2023 wrote a letter to HE President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni asking for his intervention in the matter to see that the bill is cleared as per the commitment of Ms Mazwiire Hope. Since then, they have not received any feedback.

As we report, the members of the organizing committee are on the run as the Hotel has decided to open a case against them. Our sources have confirmed to this media that the Hotel Management plans to put the organizers behind bars should they fail to clear the standing bill within a week.

“Yes, it is true that the organizers of the student youth summit have an outstanding debt of 40,000,000 shs with us. We have been patient enough for over 2 months now. We are going to take legal action against them.” the Hotel Manager told this reporter.

Some of the pictures from the National Students Leaders Empowerment Summit which happened in August 2023

When this publication tried getting into contact with Ms Hope Maziirwe for a comment, she couldn’t pick up our repetitive calls.

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“We are in serious trouble. We are getting numerous calls from the Hotel Management demanding us to pay the balance. We are students and youths and we cannot afford to pay that amount. State House committed itself to helping us pay that money but they are disappointing us now,” One of the members of the organizing committee told this media on grounds of anonymity.

“We are asking President Museveni to help us. We are going to be arrested,” the member added.

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