Hotel where Queen resided sealed off
The Ripon Hotel in the city of Jinha, where the late Queen Elizabeth II slept during her visit to Uganda in 1954, was sealed allegedly by landowners.
Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday in one of her homes in Scotland, surrounded by members of the royal family, putting an end to her illustrious 70-year rule on the British throne. She was 96.
But 68 years earlier, she had booked a hotel on the Nile Crescent opposite the Jinja Sailing Club ahead of the commissioning of Owen Falls Dam.
By Friday morning, the once-revered hotel, which sits on about four acres of land, was barricaded with iron sheets. Its supporting structures were demolished, and the surrounding land is used to grow mainly corn.
Sources said Sunday Naijium that the historical object finds itself in the middle of a land grab.
“As you can see, the place has been sealed for several years,” our source said, adding, “It indicates that there is someone who took it. However, since it was put into operation, no repairs or paints have ever been done on it.”
A Jinja city administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case said at least three people are claiming ownership of the site and the case is in court.
Without naming the individuals behind the hotel takeover, the source added: “The property was sold out when government-owned hotels across the country were privatized.”
The source, however, cited the Sunday Naijium to the Uganda Tourism Council, adding: “They need to be aware of the information relating to the Ripon Hotel.”
Mr. Dowdy Migeko, chairman of the Uganda Tourism Council, acknowledged that the land on which the hotel is located was government land “after the Indians left, but the government decided to transfer it to the Board of Trustees and there are so many applicants as we say”.
He added: “Honestly, there have been too many stories about it and I just hope someone develops it one of these days.”
Mr Migereko believes that the hotel's main location and history should make it a magnet for tourists once he puts his problems down.
The man, found Friday, declined to identify himself and said, “No one has the right here to make transactions or carry out any development until the court declares itself about who is the right owner because the case is in court.”
People, however, occupy part of the rooms of the object.