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Uganda Airlines '99.9% owned by private individuals'

The much-awaited revamped Uganda Airlines is 99.9 per cent privately owned by an undisclosed individual(s) - with government owning just 0.0001% of the airline's shares.

This revelation was disclosed by opposition MPs on the Budget committee who wrote a minority report following the approval of a Shs 280 billion supplementary budget for the purchase of the first two Bombardier planes from Canada. Like The Observer reported back in 2017, MPs were astonished to learn that an individual took out a patent on the Uganda Airlines company name.

In June 2016, President Museveni told his new cabinet in his first address that Uganda Airlines was to fly again because lack of a national airline is a ‘big shame.’  Then in 2017, the minister of state for Transport, Aggrey Bagiire, told The Observer that who owns the name is not a problem.

“It’s true the name was registered by someone [who] I also do not know. It's true the name was used in the Uganda Registration Services Bureau, but what is important is the revival of the national carrier, which we are working on,” Bagiire said then.

“The most important thing is that we shall get another name, which will show the planes are for Uganda,” he added.

Now, in his report to parliament today Tuesday, Budget committee chairperson Amos Lugoloobi said, that considering the urgency associated with the procurement of the two bombardier planes, his committee took a decision to prepare and present a separate report for the items while still in the process of scrutinizing other items on the total Shs 770.2 billion supplementary budget presented by government earlier this month.

Among the approved items off the multi-billion supplementary budget, were the Shs 280 billion for the purchase of the planes and the Shs 12 billion for the payment of ground rent arrears to Kampala Archdiocese for the land leased to Uganda Police Force at Nsambya police barracks. 

According to Lugoloobi, the approved supplementary expenditures for the aircraft and the Archdiocese shall be financed through the additional revenue release in the FY 2018/2019 and proceeds from the anticipated $60 MTN license renewal fees payment and capital gains tax resulting from the sale of Tullow Oil's assets to Total E&P Uganda at $15 million.    

Lugoloobi justified the approval of Shs 280 billion for Uganda Airlines, saying failure to pay, would result in severe penalties and damages against Uganda. Ministry of Works and Transport has been putting enormous pressure on parliament to approve the Shs 280 billion supplementary budget for the purchase of the planes, arguing that Uganda has already defaulted on its payment schedule. 

Last year, Uganda ordered for four CRJ900 regional jets with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, as part of the much-anticipated plan for the revival of Uganda Airlines. The first jets were supposed to have been delivered in January and February this year, but government kept pushing forward the arrival time.

During her interactions with the Budget Committee last week, Works and Transport minister Monica Ntege Azuba, said the funds for the purchase ought to be availed as soon as possible because any further delays means that Uganda will have to incur costs of insurance and parking fees as the planes lie idle with the manufacturer.

Azuba warned that the required Shs 280 billion has to be made within the next 6 days by March 29 or else the manufacturer will push Uganda's aircraft orders aside to 2022. 


Two opposition MPs authored a minority report, appealing to parliament to reject the approved supplementary budget requests. Kasese Woman MP Winfred Kiiza and Lira Woman MP Joy Atim Ongom informed parliament of a number of irregularities that need to be addressed before the supplementary can be approved.   

Ongom demanded that government first tables before parliament, proof regarding ownership of Uganda Airlines as well as amending the MoU for government to be allocated majority shares that can be later floated to the public.   

“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,” said Ongom.   

She 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. Ongom further said that it would be illegal to utilise the funds from the MTN licence to finance the airlines and that it was not permissible to utilise funds that are ideally reserved for an underfunded sector. 

The deputy speaker, Jacob Oulanyah adjourned debate on both reports to Wednesday.


+4 #1 kabayekka 2019-03-27 02:42
These is an African leadership that seems to run this country as its personal property.

And the written national constitution is part of its many booklets for its homework!
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+6 #2 WADADA roger 2019-03-27 06:48
But who is the actual owner of this country and its assets.

This means that the tax payer is injecting money into a private business just like the proposed high tech hospital at Lubowa.

It looks like some of us who associate with NRM will suffer upon its departure
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+2 #3 Amukun Okiror Daniel 2019-03-27 07:20
We thought that this would be a government institution but now the excuses arise again.

It is so unfortunate that many of our institutions that are supposed to provide service to the citizens are privately owned. I wonder if these privately owned institutions pay taxes.
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+4 #4 Wamanya 2019-03-27 08:07
Let me see if I get this right
1. Someone from Sembabule
2. Someone from Rukungiri
3. Someone from Kigali
4. Someone from Mbarara
5. Someone from ....ah uh okay
6. Some one from Sweden or america

Atleast it bears the name Uganda and will fly direct to Entebbe. No more hustles of Nairobi and Addis and Kigali

But sincerelyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
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+5 #5 Lakwena 2019-03-27 08:24
In other words, that is how those who captured power in 1986 captured all the public assets and the state of Uganda.

Otherwise why would any patriotic Ugandan appropriate existed state enterprise called "Uganda Airline". If not already, they are loudly thinking about appropriating the name "Uganda Railways".

No wonder the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project died at its launching at Munyonyo Speke Resort in 2012.

It is high time some people are shot between the eyes.

Otherwise at this rate of sneaking through parliament/state budget, apparatus to access billions of shillings to build Hotels like Speke Resort Munyonyo complete with an expressway to the Airport, Private hospital at Lubowa, and pay for aircrafts whose ownership is now dubious, is unacceptable
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+5 #6 Lakwena 2019-03-27 08:42
It is Mr. M7 to wear the ‘big shame’ around his neck. It is Mr. M7 shamelessness that has disgraced the country call Uganda.

In other words it was Mr. 7/NRM shamelessness to have liquidated the Uganda Airline, UCB, the Cooperatives, Marketing Boards, etc.

It is e.g., humiliating and shameful that Entebbe Airport built and maintained thru the sweat, blood and agony of millions of Ugandans, but in cahoot with Mr. M7; the fruits are harvested by a corrupt and vile individual called Sam Kuteesa' ENHAS.

It is another humiliation e.g., to have KCB towing over us yet we had UCB.
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+1 #7 Zaitun 2019-03-27 10:19
In the seventies when Idi Amin decided to institute Uganda Airlines, the country had no economic partners who could claim distinction for what he did.

Money came from the Bank of Uganda, people's money!

With all the millions of economic friends around, Museveni, his family and friends have taken taken Ugandans for fools to sell out the country.

Since he came to power, I have not seen any thing tangible Ugandans can boast of if not shaking their heads out of SHAME.

Simply tell us that, given who the General Manager is, Uganda Airlines is not a branch of Air Rwanda!!

Those who were calling Dr Milton Obote, General Idi Amin and later Godfrey Binaisa names, and killed innocent Ugandans to take power by force must come out clean and tell us that they did not play part in selling out the country to crooks and foreigners!
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0 #8 paul mulindwa 2019-03-27 12:59
minority report was made by mps who do not know company law. the unissued shares do not confer ownership. shares issued to finance and works ministries give govt 100% ownership.
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+2 #9 Remase 2019-03-27 16:27
What did I say, this is a high way robbery. M7 is intent on rooting the country naked.

What type of investor who need our tax payers money? How could a government Uganda Airlines be 99% owned by private individuals?
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+1 #10 Ronald Mugisha 2019-03-27 19:56
My dear countrymen and women, this is beyond serious. It is anarchy.

The thieves managing this country will kill us all if we are not careful.

A man with an army and an illegally acquired hospital and airline will kill you to remain in control of his loot. Don't tell them about ballot paper victory. We need to think about a new revolution.
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