- Government now claims full ownership of the Uganda National Airline Company Ltd.
- A report presented to parliament indicated that the government will have only two shares in the national airline, leaving the 98 per cent to unknown beneficiaries.
- But, acting on the pointer, the government rushed to have the changes and fresh incorporation made just hours ahead of the House sitting.
By DAILY MONITOR
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Monica Azuba Ntege, Uganda’s Minister of Works and Transport, has moved to allay fears that the name of the national carrier has been patented by private individuals. The government now claims full ownership of the Uganda National Airline Company Ltd.
In documents to parliament, the minister said that the national carrier will have two million shares, with the Ministries of Finance and Works taking one million each.
“We have the return of allotment of shares; the number of shares allotted is two million, nominal amount of shares is Ush200 million [$53,830] and amount due on each share is Ush100 million [$26,900],” Ms Ntege said.
This prompted the presiding Speaker Jacob Oulanyah to ask when the new dates of allotment were effected.
“I want to thank the members of this House for having highlighted this (anomaly) and this has been rectified as of today (Wednesday),” Ms Ntege said.
The documents were the Notification of Appointment of Director and Secretary of the Company, the Certificate of Incorporation as well as the Memorandum of Association.
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Keith Muhakanizi, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, and his Works counterpart Waiswa Bageya are listed as company directors while Bisereko Kyomuhendo is the company secretary. Mr Muhakanizi and Mr Bageya were appointed directors in their official capacity as permanent secretaries.
The carrier, whose revival is expected soon, will operate under the name of Uganda National Airlines Company Ltd.
The House Budget Committee had questioned the minority government shareholding and raised fears that the national carrier risked being taken over by private players after a minority report presented to parliament indicated that the government will have only two shares in the national airline, leaving the 98 per cent to unknown beneficiaries.
But, acting on the pointer, the government rushed to have the changes and fresh incorporation made just hours ahead of the House sitting.
New aircraft opposed
The hasty move came as MPs pushed to defeat the recommendation for a request of Ush280 billion ($75 million) for the government to pay for two Bombardier aircraft.
Former Works Minister Abraham Byandala cautioned that the national carrier could become a burden for the taxpayer, unless stern measures are taken. The Katikamu North MP told parliament that in Africa, only Ethiopian Airlines turn a profit.
“We should also be in charge of ground cargo handling, we should also be in charge of the cargo at the airport even repairing planes,” he said.
The deadline for the final payment for the purchase of the aircraft is March 31.
Amos Lugoloobi (NRM, Ntenjeru North) who chairs parliament’s Budget Committee told parliament there are risks associated with further delays.
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