UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | H.E. President Museveni attended an event held by the Protea Hotel by Marriott Kampala Skyz as it celebrated its fifth year of being in business.
The hotel, which is seated on the hills of Naguru in Kampala, celebrated its five years of operations with a lavish ceremony held on September 30, 2022.
The celebrations took place despite the recent debt controversy surrounding the property. The Protea Skyz Hotel, owned by Patrick Bitature under Simba Group of Properties, recently came under the threat of auction over defaulting bank loans.
Mr Bitature, the Founder and Chairman of Simba Group, received a ten million US dollar (USh36 billion) loan in 2014 from South African debt provider Vantage Capital. However, five years later Mr Bitature’s debt had surged close to US 30 million dollars (Ush100 billion).
Mr Bitature’s inability to repay the loan placed his entire business empire under threat, with the Protea Skyz Hotel being advertised amoung the properties up for auction in May this year by the creditor. A very public series of court battles ensued, with Mr Bitature seemingly having come out on top, at least for now.
In his remarks at the five-year anniversary celebration, President Museveni praised the Group Chairman, Patrick Bitature, for overcoming obstacles to generate job possibilities when the world economy is still recovering from the epidemic.
The President also implored stakeholders in the tourist industry to offer cost-effective packages to promote domestic travel.
Simba Group Chairman Patrick Bitature highlighted some of the accomplishments of the Hotel while touting that it survived a tumultuous period occasioned by the pandemic that had an unprecedented impact on the tourism sector.
He expressed his gratitude to the President for supporting wise policies that have helped businesses thrive and the economy remain solid and resilient.
“The past five years mark significant progress; we are very proud to gain such a high level of recognition in a short time after the opening. The local and international demand on our property shows appreciation for the efforts and hard work put together by all our teams,” Mr Bitature said.
General Manager of the Protea Hotel by Marriott Kampala Skyz Florence Nyiramugisha said: “As Protea Hotel Skyz Naguru looks ahead, the customers will continue to enjoy best-in-class services as well as innovative solutions for local customers, corporate businesses and international travellers.”
Among the dignitaries present were the Minister of State Privatisation and Investment, Hon. Evelyn Anite, Uganda Investments Authority Chairman Morrison Rwakakamba, Simba Telecom Chief Executive Officer Florah Kaheru, Uganda Hotel and Lodging Owners Association (UHOA) Executive Director Jean Byamugisha, KCB Bank Uganda MD Edgar Byamah, Apostle Grace of Phaneroo Ministries and Father Daniel Oryem, and Simba Group Ltd board members Twaha Kawase and Edson Kadoma and the Family of Bitature.
Protea Hotel Naguru Skyz is a 141-room hotel with 106 Standard rooms, 34 Deluxe rooms (with lounges), and 1 Presidential Suite. It was constructed as four separate blocks and is located on plots 1, 3, 5, and 11 Water Lane in the Naguru residential district (2 bedrooms, drawing room, dining room, lounge).
The hotel directly employs over 200 people and over 150 suppliers who provide various locally sourced goods.
There was no direct public mention of the debt controversy between Vantage Capital and Simba Group of Properties at the event.
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