The Ugandan government owns only 0.1 percent of the national carrier, the Uganda Airlines, MPs have revealed.
As if that is not enough, it has been revealed that the Ugandan government does not own the rights to the Uganda Airline name, as it has been patented by an undisclosed individual.
The revelations were made amid approval of Ush280 billion (Ksh7.6 billion) supplementary budget for the purchase of the first two Bombardier planes from Canada for the airline.
The plans to revive the carrier which has not been on operation were pioneered by President Yoweri Museveni who in 2016 said that it was a shame to lack a national carrier.
However, it seems the biggest beneficiary will not be the people of Uganda, and the government doesn’t care.
“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,” the minister of state for Transport, Aggrey Bagiire told the Observer.
“The most important thing is that we shall get another name, which will show the planes are for Uganda,” he added.
Last year, Uganda ordered for four CRJ900 regional jets with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. The Observer reports that the first jets were supposed to have been delivered in January and February this year, but government kept pushing forward the arrival time.
Uganda now needs to raise the Ksh7.6 billion before March 29 or else the manufacturer will push Uganda’s aircraft orders aside to 2022.
However, in a reports, opposition MPs feel that parting with the amount before a number of irregularities are addressed would be like robbing Ugandans.
“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 Lira Woman MP Joy Atim Ongom.