The government of Uganda has finally terminated the contract of the Chief Executive Officer-CEO of Uganda Airlines Cornwell Muleya and other top managers who have been on suspension for several months.
The Works and Transport Minister, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala suspended Muleya and 12 other top officials on April 21, 2021, on the orders of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to pave way for investigations into allegations of financial mismanagement, collusion, and nepotism in staff recruitment among other issues.
Waiswa Bageya, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and Transport says that the decision was taken on Friday by the interim board.
The other affected top managers included Rogers Wamara the Director Commercial, finance director Paul Turacayisenga, and Procurement Manager Moses Wangalwa. Also, the Sales and marketing manager Deo Nyanzi, Andrew Tumusiime (Senior administration manager), Harvey Kalama (Ground Operational Manager), Bruno Oringi (Safety Manager), Michael Kaliisa (Quality manager), Crew Training Manager Juliet Otage Odur, and first Officers Kenneth Kiyemba and Alex Kakooza were suspended.
However, on suspension, the interdicted officials all continued getting their full salary during this period.
Following orders to suspend the officials, President Museveni also directed the disbandment of Pereza Ahabwe, the Chairperson Board of Directors. As a result, an interim board of directors chaired by Bageya was put in place to oversee the airline.
After nine months on suspension, Bageya says the interim board has decided to terminate the CEO’s contract and that of Wamara. He however says the terminal benefits of those fired will be paid. The total payment figure remains undisclosed.
Bageya says the other managers and officers have either been terminated or reinstated while two are still on suspension pending vetting from security agencies and confirmation on whether or not they passed technical training.
Bageya also notes that the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) had also picked interest in the allegations against the suspended staff.
“We have concluded the case against most of the suspended officials administratively but we are also waiting for the decision of Inspector General of Government on the matter.” he said.
“I cannot disclose the reasons for the CEO’s termination right now because the IGG is still conducting investigations. But the interim board of directors decided to terminate his contract because the allegations against him were substantial and he was found culpable.”
Muleya, Wamara, and other affected staff by the time of filing this report had not yet commented about this development.
The Ministry of Works hired Muleya in September 2019 and renewed his contract three times before he was suspended. His latest contract was renewed in 2021 with the expiry being in September 2022.
Muleya, a Zambian, ventured into aviation in 1995 as General Manager and CEO of Air Botswana Corporation for eight years, moved on to Air Mauritius, and worked as CEO for Zambezi Airlines Ltd and ALS Limited in Kenya. Then, he was contracted as CEO of Air Uganda in 2013. He has thereby worked in aviation for over 23 years.