Corruption and fraud bound to engulf Uganda Airlines – MPs

Corruption and fraud bound to engulf Uganda Airlines – MPs
Eazzy Banking

Some Members of Parliament have warned the government against corruption and fraud, that is bound to engulf the soon to be revived national airline.

Uganda National Airlines last week signed an order for four new CRJ-900 regional jets with Bombardier Aircraft manufacturer, as part of the much-anticipated plan to revive the national airline.

Earlier this month, cabinet concluded the essentials for reviving the airline. Addressing the media on July 3 2018, State Minister for Finance, David Bahati said cabinet had given the Transport Ministry a green light to actualize the revival project.

Now Kilak South Member of Parliament Gilbert Olanya and his Manjiya counterpart John Baptist Nambetsye have welcomed the revival project, noting that the nation was lagging behind other regional states like Rwanda who have made tremendous strides in building their national carriers.

They however warn that the project is bound to fail. if the government does not stamp out the cronyism and corrupt procurement deals, that have become synonymous with such ventures.

Nambetsye says the huge contract sums involved will definitely attract fraudulent dealings.

Oulanya says his experience with supervising big government projects has taught him, that the costs of the project are bound to be inflated, and the specifications altered, to the detriment of the taxpayer.

The four bombardiers will cost an estimated $190 million (about Shs 711 billion). And, today European company, Airbus in statement, confirmed the signing of memorandum of understanding between itself and Uganda Airlines for the purchase of two A330-800neo aircraft.

This means the national carrier which is being revived, will have 6 planes. Cabinet early this month concluded discussions on revival of the national carrier. The two A330-800neo aircraft will each feature, according to the statement, three class cabin layout comprising of 20 Business seats, 28 Premium Economy and 213 Economy seats.

Revamping Uganda Airlines was top on President Yoweri Museveni’s must-do list after 2016 presidential elections.

During the inauguration of the cabinet in October 2016, Museveni directed the line ministry to commence work on the task. Museveni argued that “a national airline would help the country save $420 million per year that Ugandans spend on air travel with foreign owned aircraft. Uganda Airlines started operations in 1977 and wound up in May 2001.

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