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Uganda’s storm in a teacup

Azuba facing the parliament committee

If Kasaija and Azuba tried to sell shares to anyone, the buyer would have to go to the registry to transfer the shares. The registry would tell him/her that they bought air because UNACL is registered as a public, not private, company.

So when the minister said there was a clerical error and amended the documents by adding the title of “minister” to the names of Kasaija and Azuba, it was not meant to change anything of substance but to satisfy the emotions of MPs and our chattering elites.

The MPs and the cacophony of shrill alarms they raised ignored the fact that under the Company’s Act, the registrar of companies has powers to rectify errors on documents. What if the share allotment forms had indicated any other name other than that of a person who has a relationship with the ministries of finance and works? That would have been a big error, though

not a fatal one, that cannot be rectified by the registrar. But even here, that person would not “steal” the shares (by claiming them) because he would have to explain how he got them! You cannot own some- thing you did not buy and have no sale agreement for.

The other issue was Gad Gasatura who was appointed chairman of the board but the company did not notify the registrar of companies. So the issue was: in which capacity was he signing company documents? This was later rectified. But delaying to inform the registrar does not nullify appointments; it only causes the registrar to impose penalties for the delay. The MPs reached the height of absurdity when they asked why a company registered last July could have its documents certified in March 2019. Really? I will not honor this stupidity even with a comment.

Ugandans are angry and frustrated at their government – often for the wrong reasons. This has led a large section of the punditry to always look for an opportunity to vent their spleen at those holding power. It has gotten worse because in the event of no scandals, they are beginning to invent them – like this alleged theft of UNACL shares. Yet this mistrust in government is most likely going to cause more failure rather than promote success.

The failure of a nation is sometimes (in Africa, most of the time) attributed to corruption and ineptness of leaders. Yet all too often nations fail because of the collective delusions of their societies. Uganda is in crisis because its elites, suffering from acute psychological insecurity and guilt, seek meaning through exaggerated hostility to state action, even though backed only by ignorance and emotions.

Uganda airlines will fail not because the government is corrupt and incompetent but because Ugandan elites are suspicious of the state. Our democratic institutions like parliament and the press, which are meant to give citizens opportunities to check government, actually make us hold the state hostage to our emotions and delusions.

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amwenda@independent.co.ug

4 comments

  1. I am not as young as I once was and a friend told me age is like toilet paper; tends to peel off faster as it diminishes…….Mwenda’s defence of corruption (both done and attempted) is now public knowledge. He can aptly be called ‘devil’s advocate’. He does not blink an eye when he is telling his yarn;knowing as he does that his publication is read by high-brow people but criminally continues to pull their legs. These people (ministers) whose due diligence is so assured that they cannot even be short-changed in a supermarket; cannot overlook such grave matters which Mwenda wants us to treat as trivial,corrigible and negligible……
    quote……..”The MPs reached the height of absurdity when they asked why a company registered last July 2019 could have its documents certified in March 2019. Really? I will not honor this stupidity even with a comment.” unquote…… I believe he meant JULY 2018 (not 2019) as date of registration and it took a whole 7 months to certify the company; the planning that goes into such a big heist takes.

  2. Mwenda is not ashamed to write, “You cannot own some- thing you did not buy and have no sale agreement for.”… Didn’t Mwenda’s real sister (Magrette Muhanga ) almost succeeded in stealing UBC land that she did not buy or own? Those who remember the time, recall how Mwenda persistence and consistency in defending how right her sister was-on radio and print media!! Even after the court ruling that proved she had stolen the land, Mwenda didn’t stop defending her or provide an apology. The recklessness in which Mwenda attached a fellow Journalist Daniel Kalinaki for writing about the issue of that land and later on Mwenda not apologizing to Ugandans who he was deliberately trying to Misinform has since made me doubt his values, conduct, character and integrity. I do not think Andrew is a person of good character and conduct. No wonder people of questionable character such as Mirundi keep on referring him as a top mafia in Uganda. Approach some of his writings with greater caution.

  3. Andrew is such a sweetheart you should see him dressed in sweatpants you can cry tears of joy for the rest of your life.
    1.There is something about a plane that excites people in the 3rd world they even wave at planes that are parked.
    2. The allotment of shares in Uganda Airlines shouldn’t have been a big deal coz Govt owns 100% of the shares may be it would have made sense if technocrats like the PS signed on behalf of Government but not politicians.
    3. The Managers of Uganda Airlines will have to think of merging with other Airlines but we retain our company name.Why merge its because there are over lapping routes i.e most airlines may cover the same area of interest.(British Airways had to merge with Iberia to capture the Transatlantic
    route.
    4.When people travel they consider the following(i) Direct flights to their destination(ii) Affordability for example, few Ugandans may travel with SN Brussels,KLM Emirate coz of costs(iii) Bonuses issued(iv)Luggage capacity(v)comfort(vi) Time Mgt.
    5. Was a feasibility study carried out before govt invested in the airline?
    6. Was it just to raise our social and economic profile?
    7.Are there statistics of the number of foreigners that travel to Uganda?
    8.What do the foreigners come to do in Uganda is it for trade, tourism\ or to attend conferences and workshops?
    9.Did we consider the impact of ICT in the era of globaliztion?at times CEO travel if they must.
    10.Uganda is now safe the influx of NGO’s is now history actually most hotel owners are financially traumatized.

  4. 1. PLANES ARE FASCINATING REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME YOU FLEW, BUT MAYBE YOU WERE IN NAPKINS.
    2. But remember what they said when they were privatising parastatals, they said the government is not good at business; any business, so how come they are entering into a cut-throat business where better participants go under red? Someone somewhere wants to eat something at expense of the people.
    3. The idea of merging is wonderful and advisable but when a people are as selfish and eat-minded as you know most local decision makers, they won’t tolerate a real management pundit. Who do you suggest to merge with? Rwandair? they might quarrel on-board, TZ air of KQ? With KQ they might out-steal us like they did in 1977 and confiscate all aircraft when they land in Nairobi. They once did it.Either run it(under red) or abandon the whole idea …. by the way have they paid for the Bombardier in full? The last I heard there was a small shortage of funds and we were paying for parking fees through the nose…on credit.
    4.When people travel they consider the following(i) Direct flights to their destination(ii) Affordability for example, few Ugandans may travel with SN Brussels,KLM Emirate coz of costs(iii) Bonuses issued(iv)Luggage capacity(v)comfort(vi) Time Mgt.4. All those factors you considered are also taken into account here here but we just don’t work on them until the business is too indebted to pay; then auction follows as sure as day follows night. This matter is doomed some knowledgeable guys say……unless of course the oil starts flowing but Tanga is also far…..such that the visionary might not see his oil accruals….like Moses/Moshe or Musa depending on your faith………..by the way what religious faith do you subscribe to Winie?
    5. A feasibility study was done extensively by some whitemen and you know what they consider….as if they knew about Bashir or Bobi Wine.
    6. It was for purpose of prestige just like buying into fashion when you still have clothes for all functions; utility and necessity or essence were never considered.
    7. Foreigners who travel to Uganda mostly come on foot and most don’t have official documents….but those who come by air are so few that the planes won’t have any significant number and consequently no profit. If it were me I would use military pilots and police attendants for all functions in the aviation industry and pay them their salary and just a little allowance over…..it would reduce on costs.
    8. Foreigners come to Uganda for tourism and seeking employment but most come once and stay..like the chinese who roast maize in kansanga. those won’t go back and maybe they don’t even have papers because it is said some are escaped convicts. They settle marry and well…the next thing you hear, they are naturalised citizens.
    9. CEO love to travel for the reasons you know for which they cannot delegate….. to sleep with a secretary or other woman for example, and/or picking a travel allowance and most importantly to see new things and do some shopping at company expense. With the present age when corruption has embedded in the DNA, you bet they will want to travel and travel and travel.
    10. Hospitality industry is very delicate and is in fact kept afloat by the other illicit business you know too well otherwise, the overheads of a hotel are so many that it is near impossible to stay in business if it were not for the (you know them) who operate day and night.
    I hope I have answered your query satisfactorily Winnie.

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