Today, the MPs further learnt that Bamuturaki lacked any post-graduate training - an extra requirement for the job at the time she was appointed CEO.
Although in a recent interview with The Observer, she said she pursued a master's degree in Public Administration and Management immediately after her bachelor's degree in Social Work and Social Administration (Swasa) around 2000, MPs today learnt that 20 years later, she is still pursuing the same master's degree.
“My mother didn’t like my job of selling iron sheets and nails; so, she persuaded me to immediately do a master’s degree in Public Administration and Management. I was still young and some of my colleagues on the course were distinguished public figures such as Dr John Mitala and Wasswa Ziritwawula. Also, there was Jennifer Musisi [former KCCA executive director]." she told The Observer last week.
“I had just finished my master’s exams but didn’t wait to submit my dissertation to start my new job. I was just 25 years at the time,” she said.
Notably, the auditor general report pointed out that without an approved staff structure, the recruitment of the 107 staff of the airlines during the financial year under review is rendered irregular, and affects proper planning and budgeting for staff costs.
"I am qualified to run Uganda Airlines," Bamuturaki told the MPs.
MP Yusuf Nsibambi (Mawokota South) tasked the airlines' board chairperson, Priscilla Mirembe Serukka, who was represented in the meeting by Herbert Kamuntu, a board member to explain the criteria they used to handpick Bamuturaki as the preferred CEO.
In response, Herbert Kamuntu, a board member who represented the board chairperson of the airline told the MPs that prior to her appointment by President Museveni in April 2022, which was confirmed by Gen Katumba Wamala, the minister of Works and Transport on July 8, 2022, Bamuturaki, had good management skills after she volunteered and worked as an aide to the CEO, and later acting as CEO for over 12 months before her appointment.
Kamuntu revealed that the airlines initially contracted a recruitment firm, PwC to hire a substantive CEO, and received 40 applications from different candidates, adding that they abandoned the recruitment process following a directive by the president which led to Bamuturaki's subsequent appointment.
He said that the fact that they halted the recruitment exercise was an unfortunate situation.
“We hired a consultancy firm to put out an advert which they did, and while we were still going on with that process, we were told that this might be a quicker way to confirm the acting CEO,” said Kamuntu.
Kamuntu added that although the process was halted, they still need to pay PwC Shs 95 million and they are now engaging with the firm to ensure that they manage the recruitment of several other senior officials soon to be recruited.
“Does it bother you board chair that you put up an advert, people begin to express interest but along the way, that whole process is short-circuited and you say it is okay within the law. Why didn’t you then in the first instance, tell the shareholders to tell you who you want so that you just appoint them,” Ssenyonyi said.
Samson Rwahiire also a board member at the airlines stated that they did not do anything irregular adding that even in international recruitments, recruitment can stop and someone gets appointed directly.
“We did not have an account manager for the airline and it was affecting us, even where we needed to fly to we couldn’t. So chair we didn’t flout any rule, we just implemented a presidential order,” he said.
Lamwo District Woman MP Nancy Achora said the airline lost its integrity by advertising for a position but failing to interface with would-be able officers.
“As board members, you decided to choose one person but the ideal process would have been for you the board member to follow the selection criteria,” she said.
The MPs were also 'shocked' by the salary disparities at the airline. According to the auditor general’s report, the CEO earns per month Shs 87 million, director maintenance Shs 80 million, chief financial officer Shs 73 million, manager finance Shs 58 million and pilots Shs 50-60 million . Others are; human resource manager Shs 43 million, manager quality assurance Shs 43 million, manager ICT at Shs 36 million, manager cargo Shs 14 million while the cabin crew earn between Shs 2 million and Shs 4 million.
Captain Lukman Ndusa, a pilot with Uganda Airlines said pilots are paid according to the standards of most airlines worldwide.
“We had to pick pilots from Rwanda, and Vietnam and some of them were Ugandans and were earning $13,000 monthly but we negotiated with them and they are currently earning $10,000,” he said.
Barbara Mirembe Namugambe, a member of the board added that the salaries have been reviewed stating that no manager is currently getting Shs 80 million.