Parliament has passed the Supplementary request of Ushs 280bn as development expenditure to the Ministry of Works and Transport for the purchase of the Bombardier aircrafts ordered by the national carrier, Uganda Airlines.
The decision was arrived at after government rectified anomalies that were done during the registration of the company where the ownership had been allocated to the Minister of Works, Monica Azuba Ntege and the Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija in their individual capacity.
The standoff that had threatened government losing the earlier partial payment of the aircraft arose following a minority report of the committee on Budget that highlighted the anomalies that were made.
Following a crisis meeting, the Ministers were forced to revise the ownership of the company which have been captured in the new committee report that has been adopted by the house with amendments.
“Upon advise by the Registrar General of URSB, the shareholders admitted that the allotments made on July, 11, 2018 and March 26, 2019 were irregular and cannot be sustained,” noted the committee chairperson, Amos Lugoloobi.
Lugoloobi told the house that the shareholders agreed to rectify the errors and allot the shares to the Minister of Works with 1, 000, 000 ordinary shares and Minister of Finance with 1, 000, 000 ordinary shares.
The Committee as well noted major weaknesses at the policy making level where the interim Board members are also full time employees of Government and extremely busy in their substantive public offices.
“It would be difficult to imagine that the company will have a good footing if it continues being managed by such a board; the shareholders must appoint a substantive board and competent board in any case not later that April 30, 2019,” Lugoloobi said.
Logoloobi said that in the event that this is not done, the House should not appropriate any funds to the activities and operations of the company for the financial year 2019/2020.
Ruling on the matter, the Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah who was presiding over the house noted that there was consensus built for the need of purchasing the aircrafts and working in line with the signed agreement.
Oulanyah thus requested members that they pass the supplementary request so as to conform to the signed agreement and deal with the issues later.
“We have agreed that the Ministry deals with the ground handling, board should be constituted brought to the committee for approval as well as coming up with an act of Parliament that will streamline the operations of the company,” Oulanyah ruled.