As the probe into the mismanagement and impunity at Uganda Airlines, the country’s national carrier, continues, debate on the investigation has created two camps: those backing controversially appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jennifer Bamuturaki Musiime and those supporting Joel Ssenyonyi, the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase).
The interface between Members of Parliament on Cosase and officials Uganda Airlines led by Bamuturaki dominated news headlines this week, with shocking revelations coming out of the appearances of national airline bosses in the parliamentary committee.
The officials from the national carrier are expected to return to the committee next week. It is expected that witnesses will be brought in as Ssenyonyi, who doubles as the spokesperson of main opposition National Unity Platform (NUP), and his committee members seek to further expose Bamuturaki and pin her for her alleged role in the mismanagement of the loss-making airline that has suffered leadership and management crises since its revamping a few years ago.
Ahead of next week’s show down, debate on what Cosase has so far discovered continues. The pro-Bamuturaki camp believes that Ssenyonyi, the Nakawa West MP, is interested in humiliating the CEO from Tooro whose father was a Member of Parliament in the Apollo Milton Obote II government.
And these Bamuturaki supporters are openly condemning Ssenyonyi, saying his investigation will make the national carrier vulnerable. They argue that Bamuturaki should be supported instead of being brought down by a probe that might taint the image of the already struggling Uganda Airlines.
According to Balaam Barugahara Ateenyi, an events marketing guru and radio owner who openly supports President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni, his National Resistance Movement (NRM) government and his son Lt Gen Muhoozi Kainerugaba, Ssenyonyi should leave Bamuturaki alone since she was, according to him, appointed by an angel of the Almighty God!
In Balaam’s view, that angel of God is President Museveni, and there is nothing much that Ssenyonyi, an ally of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, can do.
Balaam has also assured Ssenyonyi that as long as Bamuturaki wants to be in office, nobody will stop her.
The marketer from Tooro even threatened to hold demonstrations to push for Bamuturaki’s salary raise so that her pay can match what other aviation industry CEOs take home every month.
“You will do nothing. She will remain in office as long as she is interested. We shall even demonstrate for her salary increment,” wrote Balaam before quoting scriptures.
“She was Appointed by God’s Angel in Uganda, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. ‘Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.’ Hebrews 13:17, NIV. CEO Jenifer Bamuturaki, Good choice.”
This week, Bamuturaki made shocking revelations, including the fact that she never applied for the Uganda Airlines CEO job but Museveni gave it to her. Bamuturaki also confirmed that she does not have her O-level certificate and that she has never received her SWASA transcript from Makerere University, from where she graduated in 1994. (Read Stories Here and There).
President Museveni has previously explained why he appointed Jennifer Bamuturaki the Uganda Airlines CEO without following the right process. (Read Story Here).
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Meanwhile, MP Ssenyonyi has accused a senior minister in President Museveni’s government for threatening and intimidating him through a phone call, telling him to stop grilling his relative Bamuturaki or wait for trouble. (Read Story Here).