Uganda Airlines airbus arrives at Entebbe International Airport on February 2. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA
By Franklin Draku
Thirty-three days after President Museveni ordered the Inspector General of Government (IGG) to investigate and prosecute Uganda Airlines bosses named in corruption scandals, the letter has not reached the destination.
The July 17 letter which was addressed to Works minister Gen Katumba Wamala and copied to IGG and other high-ranking government officials, targeted senior members of the board and management, who the President accuses of mismanagement and engaging in corrupt deals.
In the letter, President Museveni ordered the dissolution of the board of directors of the national carrier following an investigation that revealed widespread corruption, collusion and mismanagement.
The President accused the Uganda Airline officials of extorting money from job applicants, bungling procurement contracts, recruiting relatives, friends and church members across the network, maintaining ghost workers on the airline’s payroll and giving jobs to unqualified pilots at the expense of the safety of passengers.
“All disciplinary, dismissals, termination of contracts, prosecutions and interdiction should be carried out expeditiously and following legal procedures,” the President wrote last month
“All implicated officers should be referred to the IGG for prosecution and possible recovery of public funds,” he added. Advertisement
At the IGG’s office, officials from the registry combed all the files and could not trace the letter.
It is not clear who is keeping the letter, what his or her motive is and why Works officials didn’t bring the matter to the attention of the government watchdog.
The IGG spokesperson, Ms Munira Ali, confirmed the letter had not been delivered to the office as of yesterday.
“I have crosschecked with our records for the letter on the matter you have requested but we do not have anything up to now, so we do not have any directive as it stands now,” Ms Munira said.
Ms Lindah Nabusayi, the senior presidential secretary, however, yesterday confirmed the directive and said it had been delivered to the office of the IGG.
She wondered where the letter could have ended, but promised to make sure that the IGG gets the directive.
“I don’t know why the letter has not reached, but what I can authoritatively tell you is that the President wrote to the IGG, asking her to investigate the corruption at the Uganda Airlines,” Ms Nabusayi said.
“ If they have not received it, it must still be on the way, they will receive it. I can’t explain where the delay originates from because we have a delivery system which takes care of such issues,” she added.
The State Minister for Works, Mr Musa Ecweru, told Daily Monitor that the letter had been delivered and that the IGG could simply be denying receipt .
“Sometimes the IGG wants to work in confidence that is why they don’t want to say that they have received the letter, but what I know is that they have already got the President’s letter,” Mr Ecweru said.
What the officials are accused of
Mafias fighting back?
Sources close to the Works ministry and are privy to the investigations told this newspaper that a cabal of mafias is working round the clock to ensure that the letter does not reach the IGG in order to frustrate the investigations.
Mr Ecweru said his office received all the responses from suspected Uganda Airlines officials and was now compiling the details.
The minister also said all those implicated would be summoned to appear before the ministry team and defend themselves against the allegations.
“We are compiling the replies and we are meeting them soon. After we meet them, there are some issues which we will forward to the IGG so that they can proceed with specific instructions,” Mr Ecweru said.
The President listed a total
of 14 grounds against six board members led by former local government
state minister Prerez Ahabwe, Benon Kajuna, Godfrey Ssemugooma,
Catherine Asinde Poran, Charles Hamya, and Rehema Mutazindwa.
The board members are accused of incompetence, ignoring security vetting, perpetuating corruption in recruitment, grounding the two airbuses for eight months, collusion with management, mismanaging contracts and micromanaging the institution and sloppiness.
Cornwell Muleya, the chief executive officer (pictured left), was accused of failure to curb corruption of the errant officials such as Paul Turacacysenga (director finance), Joseph Ssebowa (HR manager), Moses Wangalwa (Procurement manager), Deo Nyanzi (sales and marketing manager), Roger Wamara (commercial director), Andrew Tumusiime (senior administration manager), Michael Kaliisa (quality manager), Bruno Oringi (safety manager),Harvey Kalama (ground operationa manager), Kenneth Kiyemba (first officer), Alex Kakooza (first officer) and Juliet Otage Odur (crew training manager), Moses Wangawa and Tom Gidudu both from procurement department whom the President accused of messing up a good project.