Kidepo national park is one of the top national parks in Uganda with unique plant and wildlife species. The park has some of the most rare wildlife species some of which are endemic to the region. To boost tourism in the national park the government is encouraging the building of safari lodges in the area to offer accommodations.
However a businessman Mr. Kodet who claims the President of Uganda had offered him Katurumu Lodge to take over management is now facing opposition from the Uganda Wildlife Authority which is mandated to manage all Uganda national parks.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority has asked Mr. Kodet to go through the formal process of acquiring any government asset before developing the national park which is located in the Karamoja sub-region.
According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority Executive Director Mr. Andrew Sseguya business man Cornelius Lorika Kodet is to be stopped from carrying out renovations of the Katurum lodge until he goes through the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority process.
Mr. Kodet is a successful businessman who owns a beach at Entebbe – Aero beach, Apule Safari lodge in the district of Mbale and Mount Moroto hotel in the district of Moroto.
However, the businessman Mr. Kodet has said he will carry on with the construction of Katurum lodge following the directive he got from the President of Uganda. He said that when the Uganda Wildlife Authority had initially wanted to destroy the lodge, they had requested for money from government to do it but he instead asked the President to allow him redevelop it and he got a letter from the then Minister of tourism allowing him to go ahead with the construction and renovations. Mr. Kodet says he has an investment plan and intends to go ahead with his construction works.
Katurum lodge was constructed in the 1970s but was later vandalized after the government of Idi Amin was ousted in 1979. To make it functional the business man has put on a new roof and is doing renovation activities in the interior of the lodge. However, Mr. Sseguya says that the businessman can only go ahead if he follows the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets process as well as the letter from the then Minister of Tourism Mr. Kahinda Otafiire.
Katurum lodge is a property of the Uganda Wildlife Authority and was recently advertised in the International Tender of Joint Ventures.