At least Shs964.2 Million (USD253,189) was lost through voided tickets in November last year after 908 persons travelled for free, especially to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The disturbing revelation came up as additional evidence to support reports that had been leaked to MPs on the Parliament’s Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that are currently probing the findings of the Auditor General Report Financial Year 2020/2021.
On Wednesday, as the committee interfaced with the Uganda Airlines team to answer to queries raised in regard to the glitches contained in the Auditor General report for Financial Year 2020/2021, MPs demanded that the airlines produce lists of the 200 persons and any other extra parties that traveled to Dubai for free in November last year.
Therefore, as the team returned, latest data on the matter showed that at least USD253,189 (about Shs964.2 Million) was lost through the voided tickets to racket of cartels that remains unknown. Sadly, the Director Finance at Uganda Airlines, Mr Paul Turacayisenga who first raised the concern said the lost revenue may never be recovered.
“In our case, things to do with revenue protection are highly [sensitive] and require immediate alerts to the highest level. When this came to my attention, I wrote to the CEO and informed her about it. I have an email,” Mr Turacayisenga said, adding “There is some worry [because] there is likelihood that some money not be recovered.”
Uganda Airlines team led by their Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ms Jenifer Bamuturaki however didn’t share finer details on of the said parties but were quick to inform MPs on COSASE that they had since instituted an internal audit to exhaustively deal with the disturbing concern.
“I also want to tell you is that the board has instituted a special audit for this. So this is something that is still being worked on and I am sure at an appropriate time, once it [audit] is completed, [it will be shared],” Mr Turacayisenga said.
The unknown persons that profited from the said tickets, legislators could have colluded with unidentified staff at the national carrier to defraud the government of the said revenue, something Ms Bamunturaki’s team only said is under investigation.
Contracted bloggers to lash out at MPs
Prior to the above, legislators on COSASE learnt of a contract signed between Ms Bamuturaki and bloggers, only identified as the ‘Independent Online Journalists’ (INDOJA) to ‘clean up’ negative publicity made against the Uganda Airlines. The job was to done at monthly rate of Shs13 million for 12 months.
As he grilled airlines, the Committee chairperson Mr Joel Ssenyonyi indicated that the contract formalized on December 24th 2021, was only signed between Ms Bamuturaki and Mr Andrew Irumba, a representative of INDOJA and was witnessed by Ms Monica Kobusinge.