COSASE concludes Probe on Uganda Airlines Scandal

The national carrier is on the spot for corrupt tendencies, extravagant salary structures, and causing financial losses to the government.

COSASE concludes Probe on Uganda Airlines Scandal
Story by Businge Brian Franco \

The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) are demanding the dismissal of top Uganda Airlines bosses over illegal operations.

The national carrier is on the spot for corrupt tendencies, extravagant salary structures, and causing financial losses to the government.

This followed an implicating report of the Auditor General at the airlines for the Financial Year 2020/2021.

In the FY 2019/2020, the Airlines made a loss of 104 billion Shillings, and in the subsequent FY 2020/2021, the entity recorded another loss of 164 billion Shillings whereas, in the FY 2021/2022 that ended on June 30th, the report shows that it has made yet another record loss of 234 billion Shillings.

On Thursday, the Committee was shocked at the fresh details that the Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Jenifer Bamuturaki influenced the award of 3.48 Billion Shillings to Abbavater Group and not 2.097 billion Shillings as was earlier submitted by the Airlines officials on Wednesday.

The Abbavater Group was recommended by the CEO for advertising and promotions of the revived Uganda Airlines. 

Bamuturaki, by her own admission, harbored vested and concealed interest in Abbavater because it belonged to her close associate and Pastor, Mark Arnold Odeke, the Group’s CEO.

Without declaring a conflict of interest, the CEO protested the cancellation of the Abbavater Group contract with Uganda Airlines after the Board recommended otherwise because of her close ties with the media agency that led to over-invoicing to defraud the Airlines. 

The Committee Chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi tasked Bamuturaki to explain how she was part of a three-man Committee headed by Patrick Omony Okema then the interim Head of Procurement and Disposal Unit; Joseph Ssebowa (Manager Human Resources) of the Airlines that highly appraised Abbavater Group.

Ssenyonyi pointed out that as a result of the Committee’s doctored appraisal, backed by the Contracts Committee report, Bamuturaki used her influence to knock out rivals of Abbavater Group that included; Star Leo Advertising Agency, and WMC Africa Limited to market the Airlines but the CEO distanced herself from any responsibility.

It has emerged that Bamuturaki, without the knowledge of the Company Secretary, Bisereko Kyomuhendo, unlawfully contracted the Independent Online Journalists Association-Uganda led by Andrew Irumba, a blogger and CEO of online publication, TheSpy Uganda up to a tune of 156 million Shillings to counter bad publicity against the Airlines.

Ssenyonyi produced a copy of the contract drafted by Bamuturaki and witnessed by Bisereko, the Corporation Secretary, but he (Bisereko) expressly said that he was seeing the document for the "first time". Through the doctored contract, the Airlines' Finance Department on the orders of the CEO flagged 117 million Shillings in an upfront payment.

COSASE has now concluded its inquiries into the operations of the Airlines a report of their findings and recommendations will be presented to the House for adoption on a date yet to be established.

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