The State Minister for Transport, Ms Joy Kabatsi, has threatened to suspend the chairman board of directors of Uganda Airlines if he does not respond to 12 pertinent issues affecting the national carrier.
Ms Kabatsi in her April 26 communication to Mr Godfrey Ahawe Perez stated the issues that arose in a meeting he allegedly refused to attend.
“Following your refusal to attend the meeting together with your board members, I have found it necessary to communicate to you the issues that were to be discussed during the aborted meeting,” she wrote.
“You are asked to give me a comprehensive report on all the issues highlighted above by May 7, 2021. In case of failure to respond as requested, I will have no other option but to request the shareholders to suspend you,” the communication adds.
Some of the issues raised are why the certification of the bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft has never been concluded, lack of the timeline for certification of the A 330-800 Neo aircraft, and non-utilised ground handling equipment that was purchased four months ago.
“Ground handling equipment was purchased and has not been utilised for four months, yet the airline is paying ground rent and storage charges. Did we get value for money? The prices of the equipment are questionable. What is the plan for the airline to start self-handling?” Ms Kabatsi demanded.
The minister also demanded to know why there was lack of capacity by heads of department and their technical staff to develop manuals that are satisfactory to Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, and what measures are being taken to address the capacity deficiency.
Ms Kabatsi is seeking to know why the cost of simulator training is too high and whether the training interval can be extended from six months to one year since it does not conflict with the regulations.
She also wants to know whether the airline has developed appropriate training programme for critical staff and also whether the chief executive officer has failed to discipline errant staff.
The demands come barely days after her senior colleague, Gen Katumba Wamala, ordered a section of the senior Airlines management team to leave office for at least three months to pave way for an internal investigation.
Sources within the ministry indicated that the Executive has for the last several months not been impressed with the performance of the airline amid reports of abuse of office and financial mismanagement.
A recent report of the Auditor General indicated that the airline had posted a loss of Shs15b in FY 2018/2019.