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Shs 30bn police aircraft put on sale for Shs 17bn over lack of runways

The Uganda Police Force has put on sale its fixed-wing aircraft at Shs 16.6 billion, nearly half its original purchase price. Police purchased the 5X-PEF/P180 Avanti II aircraft in June 2019 at Shs 30.48 billion. 

Police’s Airwing commandant Col Patrick Mbayo Mutome said that one of the major challenges that has forced them to sell the aircraft is its inability to land in areas where there are no tarmac runways. Mutome said it cannot execute its major purposes such as providing aerial surveillance, rapid response, and troop transportation for emergency or terror-related operations.

Mutome further explained that every time it is grounded, some parts get spoiled, and buying replacements is extremely expensive. This, according to Mutome has made maintenance of the aircraft extremely costly yet its importance is currently slim. 

“As you are all aware, the Uganda police airwing is a support unit, that provides aerial patrols, search and rescue, rapid response and troop transportation, aerial surveillance for pirates and other criminal elements, aerial assault, insertion and extraction, VIP transportation, medical evacuation and case evacuation,” Mutome said. 

Police spokesperson Fred Enanga said the 9-seater aircraft has responded to multiple incidents in the Karamoja region, Rwenzori region, and the cities of Kampala, Jinja, Hoima, Mbarara, Lira, Gulu, Soroti, and Arua thus making it an integral and essential part of policing in the country.

“However, the fixed-wing PI80 Piaggio Avanti II did not achieve any positive outcome, yet it can remain airborne for up to 8 hours while providing aerial support. Since its acquisition, it has only covered a total flying distance of 117 hours, because it is not designed for non-tarmacked runways, undergoes expensive mandatory inspections, insurance and with no benefits realized,” Enanga said.

Mutome and Enanga said because the aircraft spare parts are very expensive given the nature and category of luxury, the minister for Internal Affairs has given no objection to the disposal of the unserviceable aircraft and procurement of the new compatible helicopter. 

Before the decision to sell the aircraft was reached, Enanga said a composite board of survey inspected it and valued it at Shs 16.6 billion. 

The value of the sale price considered in the valuation analysis by the board of survey includes; depreciated replacement cost value was concluded in consideration of technical condition, based valuation, blue book values, current marketing running prices, a minimum of  $100,681 to replace expired parts and it being the only aircraft on the African continent.

“Therefore, the replacement of the fixed-wing aircraft will provide the police airwing with an additional operational and effective crime-fighting tool. So far, several types of aircraft have been reviewed, with manufacturers and in total consideration of the aircraft possible loads and operations of the Uganda police,” Enanga said.

Enanga said that the force is considering purchasing another aircraft once the Paggio Avanti 11 Evo is disposed of. He added they are looking at a compatible aircraft that will be acquired, through the trade-in procurement sourcing method, and in line with the PPDA laws and regulations.


+3 #1 apollo 2024-03-30 14:44
The resale value should inform the true original purchase value, which was way under the Ugx 30.48 Billion tag, for which it was purportedly purchased. The purchase value must have been about Ugx 20 Billion.

Secondly, the mentioned reasons for the intended sale inform that vested interests overtook the process involving needs identification and analysis, feasibility, cost analysis and the procurement process.

It is the taxpayer that is now being asked to prepare to pay an avoidable cost. Somebody should either resign or go to jail or both.
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+1 #2 Zaitun John 2024-03-30 17:45
This story depicts how our so-called intelligent leaders are failing the country. I see in this story a man who goes about pretending to be the best to hget married to such and such woman, poor as he is but surviving on hand-outs from grandparents and friends, his brothers being too poor to come to his aid.

After marriage, he finds himself stuck with children he can hardly send to school, dress, take to hospital but are fed by smpathisers.

Yes, this article depicts the real situation of the country whose resources are getting stollen by a clan of robbers and their acolytes.

The so-called police force always engages in manhandling the very tax payers whose money was spent for buying this plane. Why can they not go to their father for money other than selling the bird out?
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+1 #3 Kidepwe 2024-03-31 15:53
Talk of misplaced priorities. Was the procurement of this aircraft really necessary in the first place?

With the squalid living conditions of the rank and file in the police? A few people, as is the usual story of Uganda, must have feathered their nests.
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0 #4 Mutebi 2024-04-01 18:32
troop transportation? are you kidding me? this is more of a luxury aircraft.

A capable aircraft would have been one in line of a Twin Otter.
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0 #5 kabayekka 2024-04-02 16:10
Lots of police hot air. Most countries have organizations that are able to own such planes and helicopters they can easily hire out to government for temporary contracts.

The African police do not have to own everything. The running costs would be astronomical!
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0 #6 Lakwena 2024-04-03 08:51
A typical culture of stupidity and poverty: to buy an expensive and useless item just for the show (vanity).

E.g., instead of living in dehumanizing refugee like shacks squalor, how many units of low-cost and decent accommodation (houses), the Shs 30.48 billion spent on the dinky aircraft would have built?

In other words, it is bewildering the manner in which our sweat and blood tax money is being spent under "Our current Problem of Africa", Dictator Tibuhaburwa and his sickening vanity of Middle Income Class Uganda.
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