Uganda Airlines has rejected a recruitment firm that government, through the Ministry Works, had contracted to search for the substantive chief executive officer.
Works Ministry had, through its procurement and disposal unit, selected Profiles International in February from four companies that had shown interest in conducting the search.
However, at the weekend, Mr Perez Ahabwa, the Uganda Airlines chairman, told Daily Monitor they had rejected the firm and are considering engaging an international and well established recruitment firm for the search that will be spread beyond Uganda.
“We rejected it [Profiles International]. It was not up to the standard we had wanted.
So that one we have cancelled. In the last board meeting, we agreed that we can now start soliciting for competent international firms that are known,” he said, noting, for now Mr Conwell Muleya was still the Uganda Airlines acting chief executive officer.
Mr Muleya, who has been acting in the position since October last year, was in February offered another contract extension, which is expected to expire in February next year.
At the height of preparations to re-launch Uganda Airline, which had been liquidated in 2000, Mr Muleya had been serving as a technical adviser with Mr Ephraim Bagenda, an aeronautical engineer, holding as managing director.
However, Mr Bagenda has since been moved to a new posting and is now the director of engineering and maintenance. In February, Mr Ahabwa had told Daily Monitor, Mr Muleya’s contract had been extended to give the search process enough time.
He also noted that the search process was on course and by next year Uganda Airlines would have a substantive chief executive officer.
“They have started [search for the recruitment firm]. At least by February next year we shall have a substantive chief executive,” Mr Ahabwa said.
Asked about the rejection of the recruitment firm, Mr Waiswa Bageya, the Works Ministry permanent secretary, said the Uganda Airlines board had been asked to communicate the rejection in writing but no communication had been sent through by Friday.
Ministry of Works, he said, had been asked to process a tender for a consultancy firm that would search for a substantive chief executive officer under the considered bidding details provided by Uganda Airlines.
“We put out adverts and got some bids … but one of the reputable firms did not return the bid document. So, we closed and formed an evaluation team. They evaluated and got one company. We put up the notice for the best bidder. But then what we got from the board is they were not happy with the firm,” he said, noting that Uganda Airlines was yet to formally write to the ministry to start the cancellation process.
Profiles International, according to Mr Bageya, had indicated it would conduct the search process for at least Shs60m.