Breaking

Uganda Airlines CEO, Director Engineering Detained for Alleged Conspiracy

The then Commercial Director who doubled as the Contracts Manager working under Bagenda as the acting Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Airlines were allegedly involved in hiring the Abbavater Group Limited, an advertising firm to brand and market the newly aircrafts in and outside Uganda a cost of USD 540,000 (about 2.067 billion Shillings) without opening the process to a competitive bidding process, thus flouting PPDA procedures.
18 Aug 2022 18:12
Embattled CEO of Uganda Airlines Jenifer Bamuturaki (R) in While Coat. Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 3

The Parliamentary Police Division  on Thursday detained Jenifer Bamuturaki, Chief Executive Officer of Uganda National Airlines Company Limited and Ephraim Kalyebara Bagenda the Director of Engineering and Maintenance for questioning over alleged corruption.

The duo was handed over to the Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department - CIID by Joel Ssenyonyi, the chairperson of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises – COSASE.

The then Commercial Director who doubled as the Contracts Manager working under Bagenda as the acting Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Airlines were allegedly involved in hiring the Abbavater Group Limited, an advertising firm to brand and market the newly aircrafts in and outside Uganda a cost of USD 540,000 (about 2.067 billion Shillings) without opening the process to a competitive bidding process, thus flouting PPDA procedures.

Ssenyonyi tasked the two to explain their role in the deal, but both Bamuturaki Bagenda said they could not remember and referred the Committee to the Procurement Department of the Airlines which was not present at the time in the meeting for responses.

//Cue in; “Madam Jenifer do you…//

Cue out…they were hired to do.”//

While Bamuturaki also denied links to the Company, she appended her signature on the copy of the agreement signed on September 6th 2019 as a witness to the deal which conflicted her position as senior staff of the Airlines.

//Cue in; “Do you have…//

Cue out…not legally.”//

It was later discovered that Bamuturaki was part of the Abbavater Group, and went ahead to influence the process of contracting the company without declaring her conflict of interest which raised queries about transparency in the award of the contract.

//Cue in; “This is a company…//

Cue out…had an interest.”//

The MPs established that Abbavater Group Limited was first hired by Uganda Airlines to undertake a basic topography survey to produce typographs, a hydrogeological survey to cite potential underground water sources and later to manage the public relations.

The MPs further established that Bamuturaki and Bagenda conspired to handpick Abbavater Group and blocked the process of competitive bidding thus flouting procedures of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act of 2003.

Bamuturaki and Bagenda, alongside other top officials of the Airlines were for the third day appearing before the Committee to answer the queries relating to the Auditor General’s report of FY 2020/2021 implicating the Management of lack of staff structure, varying salary employee grades, illegal procurement and poor contract files management among others.