The meeting between the House Committee on National Economy and Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ended prematurely, when the aviation regulator failed to provide proper accountability for a loan worth US $199, 990,416.
The loan, obtained from Export-Import Bank of China in 2016 aimed at assisting CAA to provide and upgrade infrastructure and facilities to modern systems, provide relaxing utilities to passengers and attract revenue for Entebbe International Airport.
CAA led by its Director General, Fred Bamwesigye, could not explain to MPs the amount spent on different infrastructure and the specific works accomplished with the aid of the loan.
They for instance reported to have accomplished 96.4 percent of a new cargo building, but could not explain what exactly was accomplished and the amount spent.
“What you are telling us is not what we want. We want to know how much was spent on the construction; if the building is complete are you using it?” asked Kimanya-Kabonera MP, Abed Bwanika, during the meeting on Tuesday 14 February 2023.
“When the loan was passed it had different components, we want to know what you achieved on each component and the expenditure,” said Wilson Kajwengye (NRM, Nyabushozi).
The Committee Vice Chairperson, Robert Migadde, dismayed by CAA’s failure to give an appropriate account, weighed in the competence of the aviation authority.
“You were given this loan because everyone thought you were fit to handle it, we MPs cannot be the ones to tell you the nitty gritty of the report, that put this here and there,” Migadde stated.
Miggade reiterated that the committee in its invitation to CAA clearly stated that the authority was required to provide both financial and physical performance of the loan including pictorial evidence.
He directed that the authourity alongside other agencies under the Ministry of Works and Transport be scheduled for a meeting on a later day. Other entities include Uganda Railway Corporation and Uganda National Roads Authority which were also present and expected to report on their respective loans.