The former Chief Executive of the once defunct but risen Uganda National Airlines Company Limited (UNACL) came out clean and blamed his exit from the company on both ‘External’ and ‘Internal’ forces.
This was during the ongoing COSASE probe into the company.
Muleya a Ugandan resident of Zambian decent is one of the said technocrats that spearheaded the revival of the Uganda Airlines after it was grounded for close to 18 years.
He served as acting CEO until February 2022 when he was kicked out on corruption allegations.
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He was first replaced by Capt. Stephen Wegoye and later, Jennifer Bamuturaki Musiime.
He however had this to say“What I didn’t realise initially was this group recruited people from within the company to distort information, feed information, give half-truths, work to further other agendas and these are some of the issues that I tried to highlight to the principal in my communication with him under the briefing notes,”
Bamuturaki who has since been confirmed as the substantive CEO is at the center of an ongoing probe by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE).
However , during the committee hearing today, Muleya told MPs that he was targeted because of his tough stance on corruption and influence peddling that were beginning to emerge.
People found me to be very rigid and they mentioned a lot of things and also alluded to the fact that the reason we are not getting our money quickly from the principals is because we are very strict with the use of money for the company,he said
Muleya added that problems could have emerged from administrative measures he took against errant officers.
“I took action to dismiss the then commercial director (Jennifer Bamuturaki). I had a problem with the then manager on Procurement, I wanted to take action to take him out but because he lobbied, we had to transfer him,” he illustrated.
While in office, Muleya told MPs that he also recalled an unnamed individual who allegedly stage-managed a robbery at one of the stations.
“But surprisingly that very first week when I left, this same individual was the one who was designated to go and take up a post in Dubai and look after a big station. And more surprisingly, the individuals we had taken out of the company as having erred were the ones to come now and manage it,” he noted.
Muleya said that this serves to confirm that he was perceived as a ‘road block’ to thieving officials and so they employed every means within their reach including fake intelligence and blackmail.
Bamuturaki’s previous woes
Muleya also cited Jennifer Bamuturaki Musiime’s previous track record during her seven months stint as Commercial Director of Uganda Airlines.
Muleya told MPs that while occupying that office, Bamuturaki was part of a plot to defraud the company.
He retorted that this was after she attempted to wire excess money to ABAVATA, a company that had been contracted to offer publicity services.
ABAVATA was working with media companies to paint a positive image of the airline.
Muleya however says it came to their notice that ABAVATA was shortchanging media houses. He says this was not only illegal but also against the agreement.
“We found a problem was that there was over invoicing which had been authorized by her (Bamuturaki) for that agency. And that over invoicing was something that could not be explained and because of that it pointed to the fact that instead of looking after the interests of the company, someone was promoting the interests of the service provider,” he expounded.
“The over invoicing at the time was in amount of $232,000 (Shs 883, 500, 080) where an invoice was raised and approved for $404,000 (Shs 1,538,508,760) when an actual cost was $172,000 (Shs 655, 008,680). So this could not be adequately explained as to why it had been pushed for payment,” Muleya cited.
Because of his vigilance, Muleya disclosed they were able to intercept this fraud before payments could be issued.
After taking note of this anomaly and Bamuturaki’s other shortcomings, he revealed that a decision was taken not to substantially confirm her as Commercial Director.