Senior officials in the Ministry of Public Works were planning to hand over the post of Managing Director (CEO) of Uganda Airlines to a senior official from the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA), sparking a protracted war in the airline industry. transport.
ChimpReports learned with authority that the Minister of Public Works, General Katumba, and senior Ministry officials had informally agreed to elevate Eng Ayub Soma, the Director of Airports and Aviation Security, to lead Uganda Airlines.
Sources said a public relations campaign had been quietly launched to boost Eng Soma’s profile in the media ahead of his appointment.
Captain Francis Babu, a thought leader on aviation issues, was hired to market Eng Soma on talk shows
.“I know a gentleman who has extensive experience in the field of aviation. He has many qualifications and he too had applied and he is even very fluent in Chinese which would have been an added advantage for Uganda Airline to have such a CEO,” Babu told NBS television.
Eng Soma is the only aviation expert in Uganda who knows Chinese. However, several security incidents at Entebbe airport, including the Rwanda Airlines runway excursion, have since damaged Soma’s reputation.
Informed officials told this investigative site that upon learning of the Public Works Ministry’s plot to help Soma take control of Uganda Airlines, Museveni called Katumba Wamala.
Museveni, who was already tired of the corruption, nepotism and impunity of CEO Cornwell Muleya’s leadership at the national airline, ordered Katumba to appoint Bamuturaki as CEO of Uganda Airlines immediately.
The Auditor General’s report for the 2019/2020 financial year revealed that the airline recorded losses of 102 billion shillings, a sharp increase from the 15 billion shillings recorded in the 2018/19 financial year. The airline’s operating costs were rising rapidly, but revenues were not, and the company was unable to achieve the expected revenues, but the operating expenses were well above the expected costs.
Museveni also ordered Katumba to sack the airlines board and management of Muleya.
The president said the airline was infiltrated by corrupt people – employing relatives and inflating supply costs.
“I moved in and dispersed the group,” Museveni said.
“Even the board – I had put in people I thought were serious. I disbanded the whole gang.
Letter from Museveni
ChimpReports has learned that on April 24, 2022, President Museveni wrote to Katumba, saying that as they had “discussed previously”, he was “ordering” the Minister to appoint Jennifer Bamuturaki as CEO for 3 years.
“According to my information, Jenifer Bamuturaki performed well in a fairly hostile environment,” Museveni said in the letter obtained exclusively by ChimpReports.
“I myself was ferried by the brand new CJR 900 to Nairobi and back the other day by the very capable young pilots of Soroti with their capable stewardesses,” said Museveni.
Around the same time, Museveni tweeted: “Hadn’t flown with @UG_Airlines until yesterday. Crew very good. When they landed I didn’t know we had landed,” said Museveni in May 2021.
“With regard to the alleged corruption within the airline, certain elements of management and the board must face the consequences,” he added.
In his letter to Katumba, Museveni ordered: “I order that you give Jenifer Bamuturaki a substantive appointment for three years. Thereafter, we can use the other business recruitment process.
Katumba did not follow up on the letter for unknown reasons.
Instead, on May 10, 2022, PricewaterhouseCoopers was contracted by the Ministry of Public Works at an exorbitant cost of nearly 100 million shillings to undertake the recruitment for the post of CEO of Uganda Airlines.
On June 24, 2022, PricewaterhouseCoopers published an announcement inviting “interested persons inside and outside Uganda” to apply for the position of CEO of Uganda Airlines. »
This caused outrage in the president’s office. Officials said Katumba had been called and reminded to “implement Museveni’s letter”.
On July 5, Katumba wrote to the board of directors of Uganda Airlines to appoint Bamuturaki as CEO of Uganda Airlines, even though it was his duty to appoint the CEO.
Earlier this week, MPs tasked Bamuturaki with presenting her resume to check whether she met the standards before she was appointed CEO of Uganda Airlines.
She told the committee that she is competent, experienced and qualified and it shows in her work at the airline.