The Inspector-General of Government, Justice Irene Mulyagonja has cleared the former managing director and accounting officer of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Dr. Rama Makuza, of any wrongdoing in the award of multi-billion contracts at the airport and alleged mismanagement of the aviation authority.
Mulyangoja said in her latest 68-page report to Parliament that allegations that Makuza acted irregularly when he wrote a letter to the procurement manager of CAA indicating availability of funds for procurement of a contractor for the sh10b sub-projects undertaken to clear the site for the major works was “found to be untrue as CAA did not have any funds for those sub-projects.”
Makuza was sacked in 2017 by the minister of works and transport, Eng. Monica Ntege Azuba, over performance and alleged mismanagement of CAA.
Subsequently, the IGG embarked on investigations into allegations of mismanagement of CAA by the Makuza, especially the failure to supervise the on-going works on the expansion of Entebbe International Airport.
It was also alleged that Makuza unlawfully varied the contract price of the airport expansion works.
After two years of investigations, Mulyangoja said in her report that the $324m (about sh119b) Entebbe airport expansion project was not mismanaged by Makuza, but faults CAA for signing the airport expansion project with a Chinese company, China Construction Communications Company (CCCC), before they cleared the site of encumbrances.
“CAA should ensure that before signing the contract for phase II of the expansion of Entebbe International Airport, independent opinion is obtained from a consultant on the costs and the works to be undertaken,” she said.
The IGG has also ordered CAA to commence negotiations with CCCC and Police to ensure that the police quarters within the Airport are relocated.
On the 42 police houses on Airport land in Kigungu, the IGG has given CAA 90 days to process the land title for the land for future repossession of the land.
“The 42 police houses in Kigungu were constructed without approved building plans by Entebbe Municipal Council because CAA does not have a certificate of title for that land. Therefore, public funds amounting to sh9.3b were exposed to a risk,” she said in her report.
Mulyagonja added: “CAA should, within 90 days from receipt of this report process a land title for the land it owns at Kigungu where police houses and the transmission station are located to avoid land grabbers taking advantage of the absence of a certificate of title to encroach on Government property.”
Makuza was appointed CCA’s managing director in 2008 following the retirement of Ambrose Akandonda. He joined CAA in 1991 as deputy managing director.
On the allegation of irregular closure of M/s Air Uganda by Makuza without consulting other stakeholders, Mulyagonja said it was not Makuza’s fault but the airline was found wanting by the International Civil Aviation Organist (ICAO)
“Air Uganda’s operations among others were suspended after a visit by ICAO auditors to establish the status of compliance of the operators with the certification processes as established by CAA, which revealed serious safety concerns,” she said.