Kampala: The State Minister for Works, Joy Kabatsi has written to the Uganda Airlines board chairman, Godfrey Pereza Ahabwe demanding answers about the shoddy work at the national carrier.
According to Kabatsi, Ahabwe and his board recently refused to attend a meeting summoned over the same, prompting her to write to the issues that were to be discussed in the meeting that they failed to attend
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.
To her surprise, the minister reveals that the four Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft have 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 further noted 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 Kabatsi, 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 tasked 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.
Minister Kabatsi has therefore demanded 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.