Parliament has asked the Minister of Works and Transport, Monica Ntege Azuba, to present a list of the board of directors of Uganda Airlines for approval.
The legislators, led by Kasilo MP Elijah Okupa, tasked Azuba with explaining why the board was appointed before the names of members were scrutinized by the parliamentary committee for approval as stated by the parliamentary resolution.
Okupa questioned the competencies of the appointees, saying the process was not transparent.
“It has come to our knowledge that the works minister has not followed a parliamentary resolution. We have a board which has not been approved as directed by this House,” he told Parliament.
Okupa added that contrary to assurance from the Government that Uganda Airlines would start operations by July 1, the aircraft are still grounded.
“To-date, the aircraft is still parked in Entebbe. We had the right opportunity to promote the airlines to ly Uganda Cranes to Egypt for the Africa Cup of Nations this month, however, this did not happen,” Okupa added.
In May, Parliament passed a sh280b supplementary budget to be paid for the first batch of six Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft to be used by the national carrier. The budget was passed with resolutions, which included the presentation of the board of directors of the airlines before the relevant committee for scrutiny and subsequent approval.
MP Joseph Ssewungu (Kalungu East) informed the House that to-date, the board had no office space and was operating in the office of Eagle Air.
“According to reports, there are some people sitting in Eagle Air offices in Entebbe which is defunct. Can the minister tell us where the offices of Uganda Airlines are,” Ssewungu said
MP Odonga Otto (Arua County) accused the Government of appointing inexperienced people to serve on the board.
“One of the people who flew the Uganda Airlines when it was started has not been appointed. Instead, we have people who are not experienced in that field,” Otto said.
In response, Azuba confirmed that the board has been appointed and promised that the list will be presented before the committee.
“Cabinet went through a process. It took about three weeks to approve the board. The issue of coming to the committee is unprecedented, but it is not too late,” she said.
Azuba refuted allegations that the people appointed to the board were not experienced.
“I want to inform members that among members on the board is an aviator who was part of the task force, so it is not true that the members are incompetent,” Azuba said.
She clarified that Uganda Airlines’ offices are currently located at the defunct Eagle Air, adding that the office space is being rented.
Board Members of Uganda Airline
“The Interim Board has worked tirelessly amidst many challenges to reach where we are. Today, funding for the National Airline is in place; recruitment of key staff for the National airline has been completed and training is on-going; the first two bombardier aircrafts were received on April 23, 2019 and commercial operations are expected to commence in July 2019.” Said Monica Azuba Ntege, the Minister of Works and Transport during the inauguration ceremony.
The newly inaugurated board chairman is Honourable Ahabwe Godfrey Pereza, who is currently undertaking a PhD in economics, is the former Minister of State for Local government and has chaired parliamentary committees on Tourism, trade and industry as well as a parliamentary and private sector engagement committee.
Mr. Stephen Aziku Zuwa is the technical member of the board with vast experience in the aviation industry. Aziku is a member of the National Airline Taskforce Entebbe, with accumulated total flight hours of 19,500. He is a flight engineer and an aeronautical engineering apprentice from Kenya polytechnic.
Representing the Ministry of Works and Transport is Mr. Benon Kajuna, the current Director of Transport, former commissioner of Policy and planning at the Ministry. He has also been the Principal Operations Officer at URC and a Project Coordinator, EATFF.
From the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development is Mr. Godfrey Semugoma, the current Director Financial Management Services and Technical Advisory Services. He has also managed the implementation of computerized financial management systems for Ugandan embassies abroad.
Mr. Charles Hamya is a former chief accountant at Packaging Products Uganda and has also been the tax Auditor at Uganda revenue Authority. He is a former Executive director of GOtv and Multichoice Uganda. He holds a degree in accounting and is a fellow at ACCA Uk.
Ms. Catherine Asinde Poran is the current head of client coverage at Stanbic Bank, she was formerly head of Institutional banking as well as assistant branch manager at Royal bank of Scotland. She holds an LLM in international and commercial law and a PGD in business Management.
Finally, ms. Rehema Mutazindwa is the head of Human Capital Managemnt at pride Microfinance and formely was the assistant Branch Manager of Greenland Bank. She holds a Masters degree in business administration.