Uganda Airlines boss not qualified for job, MPs say

Uganda Airlines Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Bamuturaki appears before the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises at Parliament on August 17, 2022. PHOTO/DAVID LUBOWA

What you need to know:

  • Ms Bamuturaki, however, insists she has the skills to run the country’s national carrier.

Parliament’s Committee on State Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) yesterday discovered that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Uganda Airlines, Ms Jennifer Bamuturaki, did not meet the minimum academic qualification for the job at the time of her appointment.

The  revelation came after she presented copies of her Curriculum Vitae (CV), job description and academic documents to the committee that is probing the findings from the Auditor General’s report for Financial Year 2020/2021.

Ms Bamuturaki also submitted documents of top bosses at the level of director and manager.

The committee chaired by the Nakawa West MP, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, indicated that at the time of her appointment, Ms Bamuturaki only had a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Works and Social Administration and lacked a post graduate qualification, as it had been required.

Whereas Ms Bamuturaki possesses most of other qualifications raised in the copy of the advert, it was noted that she did not have a post graduate training in administration or any other business-related course. 

She also has a 15-year  minimum experience which dwarfs the 10-year experience that was required of applicants.  Ms Bamuturaki, however, indicated that she is currently pursuing Master of Arts degree in Public Administration at Makerere University. 

She said unlike other fields of work in Uganda, the aviation industry administration largely depends on one’s experience. 

She says she secured her experience in the industry from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which makes her fit for the job.

“In aviation, IATA does not give you degrees. It gives diplomas or certificates. The certificates I have from IATA, if I put them together, they will come to a diploma but I have a degree. It does not matter whether I went to the moon or whether I did MDD, what matters is [that] do I have the skill, and I do,” Ms Bamuturaki told journalists in the aftermath of the committee.

Ms Bamuturaki referred critics to check with Board Members of the Uganda Airlines that appointed her.

Lawmakers have, however, vowed to push for ‘serious action’ against her with majority reasoning that the country risks plunging the national carrier.

“How do you bring in a CEO who does not even have the experience or qualification to head a government agency with billions of taxpayers’ money in it,” the Elgon County MP, Mr Gerald Nangoli, wondered before adding: “As a country we risk losing money. This is a disgrace to the government of Uganda and the taxpayer. This business of nepotism must stop.”

Denies earning Shs87 million

Ms Bamuturaki dismissed information that she bags Shs87 million monthly.
“I don’t earn what was mentioned yesterday. I earn close to 50 percent of that,” Ms Bamuturaki said.

“No I will not specify [what I earn]. This is what I want to say, 35 percent of all those salaries that we earn goes back to government. I am also a taxpayer. For the record, that is not the money we are earning.”

Her denial comes a day after the committee grilled her team to explain the source of salary disparities contained in the Auditor General’s report of Financial Year 2020/2021.

CV excerpts

Ms Bamuturaki started as a country manager at Imperial Botanical Hotel in July 1995 and then moved to Sheraton Hotel between 1996 and 2000. 

At Sheraton she served in several capacities which include desk relations officer and sales manager.
She later joined the East African Airlines where she worked between September 2000 and September 2003. She then joined a travel agency where she worked as a sales manager for a year. She worked at Air Uganda between April 2007 and 2014 in the commercial division. 

Ms Bamuturaki then returned to Sheraton Hotel as the Head of Sales and Marketing between 2014 and 2016. 

She  later joined the Golden Tulip Hotel where she served as the director of sales and marketing until 2019 before becoming the Uganda Airlines the Commercial Director.   Ms Bamuturaki was, thereafter, appointed Chief Executive Officer at the Uganda Airlines.