The president’s flight on Uganda Airlines came at a time when it has attracted a lot of negative publicity because of alleged corruption and mismanagement. The Works and Transport Minister, Gen Katumba Wamala at the end of last month suspended senior airline managers including the CEO Cornwell Muleya.
Museveni shortly after disembarking from Uganda Airline bombardier yesterday
After flying Uganda Airlines to Tanzania for the signing of
oil agreements, President Museveni said corrupt officials in the management and board
of the airline “must face consequences.”
The president’s flight on Uganda Airlines came at a time
when it has attracted a lot of negative publicity because of alleged corruption
and mismanagement. The Works and Transport Minister, Gen Katumba Wamala at the
end of last month suspended senior airline managers including the CEO Cornwell Muleya.
on suspension are Joseph Sebbowa, the head of Human Resources, Paul
Turyacayisanga, the Finance Director, Harvey Kalema, the Manager Ground
Handling and Operations, and Bruno Origi, the Director of Safety and
Others are Moses Wangalwa, head of Procurement and Assets Disposal and
Kakooza, the airlines’ first captain.
Although Gen. Katumba has been arguing that senior
managers were not suspended but advised to take their accumulated leave,
he admitted that they are taking this “time
to look into how they were doing business.”
with a flight crew after landing at Entebbe International Airport,
Museveni said that some elements in the management of Uganda Airlines
and the board must face the consequence, regarding the alleged
corruption, according to a
a short video he has tweeted this morning.
“I had not flown using @UG_Airlines until
yesterday. The crew is very good. When they were landing, I did not know we had
landed,” Museveni tweeted. “Regarding the alleged corruption in
the airline, some elements in management and the board must face the consequences,” he added.
that is bedevilled by corruption and mismanagement is barely two years old. It launched
its regional maiden flight in September 2019 before the pandemic hit. And when
Museveni welcomed the set of bombardier jets in Entebbe in 2019, he vowed, “I was among
those who buried the old airline and I am among the midwives delivering the new
baby. This new baby will never die.”
However, the Auditor General's report for the 2019/2020 financial year revealed
that the airline made losses of 102 billion Shillings, a sharp rise from
15 billion Shillings registered in 2018/19
financial year. The airline operation costs were increasing quickly but the
revenue wasn’t, and the company was unable to realise its planned
revenue, yet the expenditure on operations was way above projected costs.
company only realised USD 9.9 million (10.8 per cent) of the projected revenue of USD 92.8 million,”
the report said. There have
been accusations of connected politicians trying to secure jobs for their
relatives or demanding airline supply contracts.
But this is precisely what a feasibility study by the National
Planning Authority that informed revival of the airline warned about. The study warned that “national
airlines especially are not free to make good business decisions due to politicians
interfering in the running of the airline.”
The airline wouldn’t face doom and gloom, the study noted if “
the national airline is run professionally by competent managers with strategies
aligned to the economic objectives of the country” and “the airline is
insulated from political and other influences with a strong corporate