KIGALI - The Government, through Soprotel Sarl, is seeking a competent firm to ascertain the value of the businesses of Umubano Hotel, before putting it up for sale.
This was revealed yesterday by the Chairperson of the Board of the Directors of Soprotel, Rosemary Mbabazi, in an interview with The New Times. She also doubles as the caretaker manager of the hotel,.
Previously, the hotel was co-owned and managed by the Libyan Government-affiliated Laico Group but when the UN Security Council resolution to freeze properties attached to President Muammar Gadaffi’s regime, Rwanda heeded the sanctions and instantly froze the Laico Group’s assets.
With respect to the sanctions, Laico Management Company was discontinued from managing the business and the hotel reverted to Umubano Hotel.
Soprotel, which is affiliated to the Rwandan government and owns 40 percent of the hotel, provisionally took over the managerial responsibilities.
“We are currently looking for the company that will evaluate the hotel’s market value and thereafter, we shall tender the hotel to any company willing to buy 100 percent shares of it,” she said.
She added that a number of companies have so far applied to evaluate the hotel’s assets and on September 1, the successful company will be announced through open bidding.
Mbabazi explained that the Libyan Government was the majority shareholder with 60 percent but it will not stop them from selling the hotel because they want a company that will inject more money into the hotel and renovate it.
“Before the unrests in the Libyan government, we had several meetings with the Libyans who were managing the hotel, but they failed to commit to their pledges,” she asserted.
Mbabazi pointed out that once the hotel is sold off, the fair share of the Libyan investment will be put into a frozen account and when the situation in Libya normalises, a recognized government can reclaim the frozen funds.