Govt appoints new Uganda Airlines board

 The Uganda Airlines airbus on arrival at Entebbe airport on February 2. The old management of the national carrier has previously been plagued by corruption allegations. PHOTO/ABUBAKER LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • The airline was infiltrated immediately (it was revived) by some corrupt elements.

The Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication has announced a new Board of Directors for Uganda Airlines to replace the one that was suspended in May last year on the orders of President Museveni.

Impeccable sources at Ministry of Works told Daily Monitor yesterday that the new Board is headed by Ms Priscilla Mirembe Serukka, the Managing Director of Kairos Consult.

Others are Mr Ebrahim Kisoro Sadrudin, a retired pilot; Mr Herbert Kamuntu, managing director of Kachain Logistics; Mr Abdi Karim Moding, a senior field engineer, who is also the country representative of SITA, a multinational information technology company that provides information technology and telecommunication services to the air industry and; Ms Barbara Mirembe Namugambe.

The others are Ms Samson Rwahwire, an associate professor at Busitema University, and Mr Patrick Ocailap, the deputy Secretary to the Treasury.

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Mr Jim Mugunga, could not confirm the new board. 

He said: “All I know is that the process (of naming a new board) had been in motion, but I cannot confirm that. Talk to the Ministry of Works.”

Efforts to reach the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Mr Bageya Waiswa, the State Minister for Transport, Mr Fred Byamukama, and the Minister of Works, Gen Katumba Wamala, were futile as their known mobile phone numbers were not unanswered by press time.

Daily Monitor has, however, established that the members replace the seven man board headed by former MP for Rubanda East County, Mr Pereza Ahabwe, who is also a former Minister of State for Local Government.

Others replaced are Mr Benon Kajuna, who was a representative of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Mr Godfrey Ssemugooma, who was a representative of the ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Mr Charles Hamya, Ms Rehema Mutazindwa and Ms Catherine Asinde Poran.

Mr Ahabwe’s board was suspended in May last year amid accusations of corruption and abuse of office.

“The airline was infiltrated immediately (it was revived) by some corrupt elements – employing their relatives, over budgeting, inflating procurement costs, terrible! Terrible things! When I got the information, I dispersed the whole group,” Mr Museveni said while speaking at Kololo Independence Grounds on May 24 last year.
The accusations were, however, never proven.

As a result on January 19, Mr Bisereko Kyomuhendo, the Company Secretary of Uganda Airlines, wrote to the suspended board clearing them of any wrong doing. 

“The shareholders have concluded their investigations and inquiries into allegations made against you and the board generally and found no evidence to merit any sanctions,” the letter reads in part.

The letter, however, asked the board members to resign in return for a handshake that would cost the taxpayer at least Shs840 million.

It offered each of them a severance package of Shs33.6m, which comes down to Shs235.2 million and a monthly retainer of Shs4.8 million computed from June last year to December 2022 when their term of office should be expiring. That will cost the taxpayer another Shs604.8 million.

Mr Ahabwe told Daily Monitor yesterday afternoon that his board had agreed to the offer to resign on condition that government fulfilled certain conditions aimed at clearing their names, but declined to say which conditions his board had set.