The State Minister for Works, Joy Kabatsi has written to the Uganda Airlines board chairman, Godfrey Pereza Ahabwe demanding answers about the rot in the national carrier.
In a letter leaked by the board and dated April 26, 2021 Kabatsi says that Ahabwe and his board recently refused to attend a meeting summoned over the same, prompting her to write to him to communicate the issues that were to be discussed in the aborted meeting.
The minister in the letter is wondering whether the board is responsible for recruiting all staff both management and other levels for Uganda Airlines but also the role of the board in the procurement of goods and services for the national carrier.
“On the failure of the Chief Executive Officer to rein in and discipline errant staff, has the board done anything about this weakness in the management of the airline,” Kabatsi questions.
Certification of aircraft
In the letter, the minister reveals that the four Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft has never been certified whereas the one for the two Airbuses is also behind schedule.
“The certification of the Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft has never been concluded. Why,” the minister questions.
She also says in the letter that the heads of department and technical staff for the national carrier lack capacity to develop manuals that are satisfactory to the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority and questions the measures put in place to deal with this problem.
The minister in her letter reveals that ground handling equipment that was purchased has never been utilized for four months yet it cost a lot of money and the airline is paying ground rent and storage charges for it.
“Did we get value for money? The prices of the equipment are also questionable. What is the plan for the airline to start self-handling?”
According to the State Minister for Works, the cost of simulator training is too high and asks for the training interval to be extended from six months to one year since this doesn’t conflict with the regulations.
The minister also asks the board chairman to ensure they set up the airline’s own Aircraft Maintenance Organisation but also asks whether the national carrier has developed an appropriate training program for critical staff.
In her letter, Minister Kabatsi says she demands a comprehensive report by May 7, 2021 on the issues raised in her letter to the Uganda Airlines board chairman.
“In case of failure to respond as requested, I will have no other option but to request the shareholders to suspend you as the chairman of the board of directors,” Kabatsi says in the letter which is also copied to her senior Works and Transport Minister, Finance Minister, Transport Minister , President Museveni, Uganda Airlines board members and CEO.
When contacted for a comment on the matter, Godfre Pereza Ahabwe, the Uganda Airlines board chairman didn’t pick our repeated calls to his two known numbers.