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‘Gov’t now has full ownership of Uganda Airlines’

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government has regained full ownership of Uganda Airlines Company Limited, Works and Transport Minister, Monica Ntege Azuba assured parliament today.

Azuba was responding during the plenary session chaired by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah following a report by the Budget Committee and a minority report in which it was revealed that Uganda Airlines is 99.9 percent privately owned by unknown individuals with government owning just 0.0001% of the airline’s shares.

As parliament convened on Wednesday to debate the two reports Azuba told MPs that government will have full control of the Company, with one million shares in the Ministry of Works while another one million shares will be under the Ministry of Finance.

According to Azuba, the Uganda National Airlines Company Limited will have two million shares, each going for 100 shillings.

She immediately tabled documents regarding the allotment of shares before parliament.

On Tuesday, the Budget Committee recommended the approval of sh280 billion supplementary budget being sought by government to purchase the first two Bombardier planes from Canada.

However, Opposition MPs Winfred Kiiza and Joy Atim Ongom, in their minority report appealed to parliament not to approve the supplementary budget until government explains the ownership of Uganda Airlines.

“The share capital of Uganda National Airlines Company Limited is 200 million divided into 2 million shares. Of the 2 million shares, only 2 shares worth Shs 200 to minister of Works and Transport as well as ministry of Finance. This makes both ministries to be minority shareholders holding only 0.0001% of the shares. At the moment the owners of the 99.9% shares are unknown. The owners will only be determined when the directors decide to allocate the shores. It was asserted that the majority shares will be floated to the public,” Ongom’s report read.

Ongom also questioned the appointment of Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi and Bageya Waiswa as directors of Uganda National Airlines Limited in their individual capacity.

 MPS question move  

Former Works and Transport Minister Abraham Byandala warned that Uganda carries a huge risk in the national carrier unless it wields majority shareholding. According to the Katikamu North MP, only the Ethiopian Airways across the continent has registered profits emphasizing that majority ownership should be in the hands of the government.

Erute South MP Jonathan Odur also demanded for more information about the shareholders alleging that there was conspiracy to commit fraud according to the information provided by the Minister of Works.

Kassanda County MP Patrick Nsamba said that it is incumbent upon parliament that the revival of Uganda Airlines is done in an organized way to benefit Ugandans. He urged Government to pick a leaf from Rwanda that owns 99% shares in Rwanda Air, Ethiopian 100% saying it would be desirable for Uganda to own 99% shares.

Arua Municipality MP Kassiano Wadri said that the attempt to revive the Uganda Airline has been tainted with confusion. He contested the fresh documents tabled by Azuba saying information from the Uganda Registration Service Bureau indicated that Uganda only has two shares.

Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah referred the new documents presented by Azuba to the Budget Committee for review.

The committee Chairperson Amos Lugoloobi asked for one day to review the documents and report back to Parliament on Thursday.

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