UCAA selection of director general called into question

Wednesday October 13 2021
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The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority director general, Mr Fred Bamwesigye Kanyangoga. PHOTO | FILE | COURTESY

By Juliet Kigongo
By Betty Ndagire

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has been sued for shortlisting and later appointing Fred Bamwesigye as its director general despite alleged glaring discrepancies in his age and name.

The petitioner, Mr Pascal Jabbe Osinde Osudo, in a lawsuit filed before the High Court in Kampala on October 7 avers that Fred Bamwesigye was ineligible for appointment since he allegedly adjusted his age to fit into the job requirements of between 35 and 55 years.

“A declaration that Fred Bamwesigye was ineligible for appointment as the 2nd respondent’s (UCAA) director general at the time he was shortlisted and subsequently appointed to the said position,” the court document reads in part.

Other accusations labelled against Mr Bamwesigye are that he has three different birth dates and keeps on changing his name from Kanyangoga to Bamwesigye.

When contacted last evening Mr Bamwesigye said he was not aware of the legal suit against him. He subsequently referred this publication to the authority’s manager for Public Affairs, Mr Vianney Mpungu Luggya. 

Mr Luggya had earlier shared a detailed clarification about the inconsistencies in Mr Bamwesigye’s particulars (see below).

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In an affidavit to support his lawsuit, Mr Osudo contends that the authority ran an advert for the post of director general on March 14. He adds that he was one of the applicants though on September 28, Mr Bamwesigye was appointed to the same position after acting for a year.

“In the said application, Fred Bamwesigye submitted documents which had glaring inconsistencies and contradictions which anomalies were ignored by the respondents (UCAA),” Mr Osudo claims, adding that there was no evidence that the accused completed primary education.

Mr Osudo accuses the authority of instead “accepting and considering” the Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) result slip of Kanyangoga Fred as a document belonging to Fred Bamwesigye. 

The petitioner further contends that, according to the job advert, the applicant had to be aged between 35 and 55. 

He alleges that whereas Mr Bamwesigye purports to have been born on November 27, 1967, his result slip implies that Fred Kanyangoga started Primary One when he was just one year.

Mr Osudo further states that the documents submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority earlier by Mr Bamwesigye, indicate his actual date of birth is November 27, 1963.

Mr Bamwesigye is also accused of having written his Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) exams in 1981, two years after the date of completion of his primary education as indicated in the documents he submitted to the Authority, which would be impossible.

The petitioner also illuminates another inconsistency on Mr Bamwesigye’s Makerere University transcript that indicates a different birth date of November 27, 1964.

“….. From the said documents, Fred Bamwesigye possesses various dates of birth which he applies conveniently depending on what he wants to achieve, a fact which the respondents(UCAA) ignored by acts or omissions, going further to appoint him in the said position without verifying such documents,” Mr Osudo states in his court documents.

Mr Osudo also notes that the Authority ignored all the red flags and instead proceeded to shortlist Mr Bamwesigye and later appointed him to the position of the director general. 

This, he claims, was done after UCAA lowered the minimum qualifications for the post of the director general.

UCAA speaks out on Bamwesigye’s age saga

We have noted inaccurate reports claiming discrepancies in the age and name for the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority’s director general, Mr Bamwesigye Fred Kanyangoga, and wish to put the record straight as follows;

This matter first came to light through a malicious whistleblower’s letter to various investigative bodies, including the office of the Inspector General of Government (IGG), which have all since fully investigated the matter several times and dropped the allegations as unfounded and baseless. 

In April, a recycled anonymous whistleblower report was again sent to the Inspectorate of Government over the same claims, and in a media interview, the then acting IGG noted that the claims were first presented to the IGG in 2017, comprehensively investigated and found to be untrue. The matter was recycled four times and sent to the same office with the same content. 

The matter has also been to court through civil suit no. 110 of 2021, and court resolved the matter through a ruling that exonerated Mr Bamwesigye on April 9. He erroneously recorded conflicting dates in his early school days, which was carried on in the first years of employment. 

However, upon confirmation of the right date of birth, following recovery of authentic documentation, including a baptism card, the right date was formally regularised through a September 2007 Statutory Declaration, and this was long before contemplating that he would in future vie for the position of DG of UCAA. 

In 2007, he had not even joined the authority. The records being discussed on social media are from a passport that was obtained sometime back before confirmation of the exact date of birth (as indicated above). 

In their investigations, the Inspectorate of Government noted as much, and so did court, before making a ruling on the matter. 

While previously, the whistleblower has been anonymous, he has since revealed himself as Mr Pascal Jabbe Osinde, a former employee of UCAA whose services were terminated on account of a court order. 

He has now written to the Committee of Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises, other Committees of Parliament and a host of media houses over the same matter (that has severally been investigated and dropped). 

 Whereas UCAA and the DG are contemplating legal action, the malicious claims should be ignored with the contempt they deserve, and will not distract the DG and the Authority from executing the mandate.

Vianney Mpungu Luggya, Manager Public Affairs, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, Entebbe International Airport

[email protected]


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