By Chimp Investigations Team
The Acting Director General of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Fred Bamwesigye is fighting to be confirmed to the job despite his academic documents showing he has already clocked the mandatory age of 55 years.
According to official documents, in his application for the job of CAA Director Human Resource and Administration, Bamwesigye said he was born on November 27, 1967.
This means Bamwesigye is 54 years-old.
Yet, on June 22, 2011, Bamwesigye applied for a visa to Canada using his passport registration number BO861672 – showing that he was born on November 27, 1963.
The passport confirms he is 58 year-old, making him ineligible for the top position.
The variation in Bamwesigye dates of birth have raised concerns about the credibility of the academic documents which he has used to earn large sums of taxpayer’s money in fat salaries.
Efforts to reach Bamwesigye for comment were yet to bear fruit as he did not respond to our calls.
Born in Ruhaama, Ntungamo, Bamwesigye previously served as Human Resource Manager at National Environmental Authority (NEMA) before joining CAA to serve in the same position.
He was later appointed Acting Director General following the retirement of Prof David Kakuba early last year.
Fight for the job
ChimpReports has learned that Bamwesigye is protesting the decision of CAA’s Board of Directors to externally advertise the job.
According to advert in the newspapers, applicants for the position of CAA DG “should be between 35 to 55 years of age.”
The deadline for applications for the post of CAA DG close on April 15.
An official, who preferred anonymity to speak freely, said Bamwesigye is using senior officials at CAA to disrupt the recruitment process as it does not favour him.
Eng Ayum Sooma, the Director of Airport and Aviation Security, Samuel Wonekha the General manager Regional Airports and Mr Emmanuel Barungi the General manager Entebbe International Airport held a meeting on April 8 at Entebbe Airport where they reportedly agreed to seek an injunction the recruitment process for the positions of both Director General and Director Human Resource and Administration.
Mess at Entebbe Airport
This development comes against the backdrop of a huge public outcry over the poor quality of services and corruption at Entebbe International Airport.
Entebbe Airport risks being blacklisted by the international community as a major transit route for illicit drugs including cocaine and heroin.
On January 24, 2021, India arrested two Ugandans who traveled from Entebbe via Doha after authorities found two packets containing 9.8 kilograms of heroin in their suitcases.
“It is one of the biggest detection of heroin/narcotics at any international airport in the country (India),” the office of the Commissioner of Customs (New Delhi) said in a statement.
The failure to modernize security systems by the CAA’s top management has not only endangered airport security but could see the international airport face international sanctions.
A retired official told us during our investigation that the Astrophysics X-ray machines used by Entebbe Airport are supplied by a one Awad Mohammed, an Egyptian national who also controls about 70 percent of all the businesses at the Airport.
Awad runs duty free shops, Karibuni Lounge for First Class and Business Class travelers, restaurants, baggage wrapping business and supply of most goods, services.
Interestingly, the Astrophysics machines supplied by Awad are no longer used at Airports.
For example, Kigali International Airport uses the latest technology of dual and multi view x-ray machines while Uganda is still using ancient technology.
For example, if a passenger is carrying a knife, the technology used at Entebbe airport enables security officers to have a top view of the item which might appear as a pen.
However, with a multi-view x-ray system, security at Kigali or even top hotels like Serena, staff are able to see both sides of items inside luggage bags.
This partly explains why drug lords continue to use Entebbe Airport as their main transit point.
It is understood that after years of decay, President Museveni is determined to clean CAA of bad apples.
The most recent Auditor General’s report shed some light on some of the problems at CAA which necessitates overhaul of the top management.
The review of the trial balance for the period ended 30th June 2020, revealed that CAA collected Shs 366,660,839 as revenue from aircraft licenses.
However, from the consolidated quarter reports and recomputation done, it was established that a sum of Shs 131,929,088 was reported as revenue arising from the different aircraft licences.
This left Shs 234,731,751 unsupported. Shs 693,994,495 advanced to staff to undertake various activities remained unaccounted for.
“I was unable to ascertain whether the funds were expended on the intended activities,” said the AG, adding, “I noted that at the time of the audit (June 2020), out of the planned eight (8) strategic targets/goals, no target had been fully achieved.”
Additionally, funds to the tune of Shs 1,290,000,000 were irregularly diverted from the activities on which they were budgeted and spent on other activities contrary to based practices.
CAA did not realize budgeted Aeronautical revenue to a tune of Shs 59,740,719,658 in the 2019/2020 financial year. The under-collection constituted 25% of the CAA total budget.
A Government delegation renegotiated the terms of the financing agreement for the US$200m loan on upgrading and expansion of Entebbe International Airport with Exim Bank.
The renegotiated terms were to be formalized into an addendum agreement. However, the addendum to the contract terms are yet to be made by CAA.
Notably, the Authority undertook works for a Security Search Park, Shelter and Road 142 at Entebbe Airport, executed by IBB International at a contract price of Shs 4,716,479,582.
The Project which was first committed in 2013/2014 remained incomplete and dormant despite expenditure of Shs 3,792,124,901 already incurred.
According to audits, the annual average vehicle maintenance cost per vehicle at CAA increased by Shs 4,432,429 (40 percent) from Shs 11,075,875 in FY 2017/18 to Shs 15,508,304 in FY 2019/2020.
“This signifies high cost of vehicle maintenance,” said AG John Muwanga.
For the last five months, Bamwesigye is said to have been looking for President Museveni, First Lady Janet Museveni and Gen Salim Saleh to help him take over as CAA DG in vain.
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