By Collin Katumba

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Pius Bigirimana has refuted rumours that National Theatre is going to be sold.

This follows unending rumours that there is a plan to sell the culture centre building.

Mr Bigirimana made the remarks while addressing the media in Kampala ahead of the launch of the renovated National Theatre building on Wednesday.

Last year, following a public outcry about the status of the National Theatre building, the government decided to set aside Shs3b to renovate the facility.

He said before renovating the facility, some people used to spread false rumours that National Theatre building is going to be sold given the situation it was in.

“The disappointment of those people who were telling lies to the whole world that we have sold the National Theatre is here. National Theatre is here to stay and we don’t have intentions of selling it. It is a national asset and government has got a very big stake in it. Nobody should tell lies that National Theatre is for sale,” he said.

The renovation, according to Mr Bigirimana, has been done in three phases. The first phase was in preparation of the East African Jumuiya ya Afrika Mashariki Utamaduni festival (Jamafest) last year where the green room for artists and dressing rooms where renovated.

The second phase concentrated on renovating first and second floors and last phase was the installation of the lights, sound, and auditorium.

“Since government values culture, it provided funds to renovate this place. The facility has been renovated, it is clean and all the facilities are working well. Everything is now refurbished,” he added.

On Wednesday, the renovated National Theatre is going to be unveiled to the public at a function where all cultural flags will be raised.