Works and Transport Minister Gen Edward Katumba Wamala has told Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) that he could not stop the appointment of Jennifer Bamuturaki Musiime as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Uganda Airlines because it was an order from President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni.
This morning, Gen Katumba Wamala appeared before Cosase to answer queries on the management of Uganda Airlines as raised in the Auditor General’s report.
The Minister, who previously commanded the UPDF and the Uganda Police Force (UPF), told the committee that in appointing Bamuturaki as Uganda Airlines CEO, he was just following a directive by Commander-in-Chief of armed forces Gen Museveni.
Katumba Wamala said that Museveni’s handpicking of Bamuturaki as CEO was his constitutional right and that the head-of-state and government exercised his powers as provided for in the laws of the land.
He went on to tell the committee, whose chairperson is Nakawa West MP and opposition National Unity Platform (NUP) spokesperson, that Museveni had assured him that had done all due diligence before recommending Bamuturaki, a daughter of a former MP reportedly killed by Milton Obote’s soldiers in the 1980s, for the top job at the national carrier.
The minister also made it clear to the committee that he could not question the president’s wisdom in appointing Bamuturaki.
He emphasized: “I cannot question the President’s authority because I simply do not have that power. He has the constitutional right to do what he did. He said he had done all necessary due diligence to arrive at the recommendation of Jennifer Bamuturaki for the position.”
He also repeated his earlier call on Ugandans to promote Uganda Airlines instead of criticizing its bosses. Katumba insisted that while he appreciated the role of Cosase in promoting accountability, there was need for Ugandans to treat the revamped national carrier as a baby.
As we have reported, Museveni gave his reasons for appointing Jennifer Bamuturaki as Uganda Airlines without following the right process. (Read Story Here).
Meanwhile, another minister in Museveni’s government has written a letter to Cosase boss Joel Ssenyonyi explaining why Jennifer Bamuturaki and other Uganda Airlines officials will not be appearing before the committee for grilling very soon. (Read Story Here).