In March this year, the Somali government grounded Uganda Airlines plane in Somalia after learning that the carrier had smuggled alcohol into the country, an act that would undermine religious beliefs of the Islamic State.
Sources revealed that it took the intervention of President Yoweri Museveni through Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) to negotiate the release of the aircraft.
After this scandal, DAS Handling Limited, an airport ground handling service company in Uganda, fired all workers who loaded the alcohol on the plane to Mogadishu, but Andrew Tumusiime, a senior Administration Manager from Uganda airlines allegedly shielded workers at the airlines who were involved. This is according to the investigations.
DAS is owned by affluent businessmen in Kampala.
However, smuggling alcohol into Somalia was not the only illegal deal that was being done with the country’s airlines.
To clean up the entire project, an investigation was conducted and in May this year, the top hierarchy comprising Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cornwell Muleya and other seniors managers were sent on a three -months -leave.
Watchdog Uganda learnt that the Works and Transport Minister Gen Edward Katumba Wamala executed President Museveni’s order of forcing the old management on leave.
Due to the dubious deals that put the country’s airlines to ashame in Somalia plus obtaining substantial evidence related to corruption and nepotism practiced at Entebbe Airport, President Museveni was also prompted to overhaul the entire Airlines administration.
Sources reveal that Mr Muleya and the team had staged a very toxic working environment by sacking every official perceived as an impediment to their venomous scheme.
Museveni also publicly reacted to the rot inside Uganda Airlines in June during the State of Nation Address and defended his decision to return Jennifer Bamuturaki to oversee the operations of the National airline having been sacked by Muleya while she served as Commercial Director.
As Muleya and the group are serving a three month ‘forced’ sabbatical, President Museveni deployed Brenda Wadri from State House to investigate the rot in the Airlines and the findings are shocking according to the source.
Other sources have also revealed that the suspended officials had a cordial relationship with top businessmen in town to run down the airlines by awarding themselves huge deals, kickbacks and commission at the expense of taxpayers’ money estimated to be Shs.100 billion.
Watchdog Uganda has learnt that the suspended clique has also launched a full-scale, clandestine operation to retain positions since their three- month- leave ends this July.
Investigations revealed, “They are moving faster by leaking to the media cooked stories linking the current management to the rot in the airlines. The motive is to pre-empt the investigation.”
The suspended CEO Muleya who is at the center of the ongoing probe, is allegedly being assisted by Tumusiime who is also on suspension. Tumusiime currently in Kenya to advance malicious propaganda.
Facts show that while in Kenya, Tumusiime has been conducting a series of talk shows about the rebirth of Uganda Airlines as a guest speaker despite serving a suspension.
“He was last hosted by Rotary club of Madaraka Nairobi on July 12. His talk shows are a calculated move to keep relevant but also to preempt investigation. In all his talkshows, Mr. Tumusiime has been bragging that he works very closely with President Museveni,” the investigation further reveals.
Investigations again show that Mr. Tumusiime had in the past used the alleged closeness with the President to engage in very acts that tarnished the image of the Airlines and the best example is the smuggling of alcohol into Somalia using the country’s national carrier.
Sources within reveal that although Tumusiime is out of office since he was a senior manager, he keeps on receiving daily briefs from his juniors and continues to advance the group’s agenda of fighting to retain their positions. And is being helped by a lady in the Finance Department who is the daughter of the top official in Uganda Airlines.
Reports show that most senior managers in Uganda Airlines employed members of their families and relatives, one of the issues that prompted the President to take action.
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