Kampala, Uganda: Parliament on Thursday quizzed Finance Minister Hon. Matia Kasaijja and Transport Minister Eng. Azuba Ntege after the documents presented to the August house indicated that they owned majority shares of the national airline as individuals.
The two ministers later apologized to the legislators saying It was an error made by their technical staff.
“I take this opportunity to apologize for the errors. And I need to make it clear to my technical team that if you are not sure, don’t talk, and if you don’t know better research,” said Finance Minister Matia Kasaijja.
Similarly, on her part Works and Transport Minister Hon Monicah, Ntege Azuba said: “I do apologize for the errors caused by technical staff.”
Kasaija asked to be given time to go and do a “neat job” because they are working for the nation. He also blamed people in government who are too quick to speak even when they are not armed with facts.
Azuba also blamed her technical people in the ministry who presented her with the embarrassing documents that contained errors.
The new twist emerged after the registration certificated presented to the MPs had errors regarding who exactly owned the Uganda Airlines.
The twist forced the government to withdraw the presented documents from parliament. The documents presented indicated that Kasaijja and Azuba had one million shares each from the Airline.
Earlier on Tuesday parliament heard that government only owned 0.0001% (2 shares) of the 2 million shareholdings in the revived airline, minister of Works and Transport, Monica Ntege Azuba laid on table documents she claimed proved that government-owned 100% shareholding of the airline.
The two ministers appeared before the Budget Committee chaired by Amos Lugoloobi.
Works and Transport Minister Hon Azuba Ntege was appearing before the committee to get supplementary funding for the airlines that is supposed to start arriving next month.
A new set of “corrected” documents were later tabled but were also found to be defective with URSB saying they can’t do much because the company, Uganda National Airlines Ltd is not ready.
Plane manufacturer, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft extended the final payment schedule to March 29 after the government failed to honor its first payment commitment in December last year. The first jet was supposed to have been delivered in January this year and another in February, but with the MPs still questioning the ownership of the airline, it remains to be seen if parliament will approve the Ugx280 billion supplementary budget for the purchase of the two planes.
Uganda Airlines, the flying crane was the flag carrier of Uganda. The airline was established in May 1976 and started operations in 1977. At the time of its closure, Uganda Airlines was operating in 8 destinations.