By Kampala Post Reporter
The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Justice Irene Mulyagonja has exonerated the former managing director of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Dr. Rama Makuza, of the cases he was accused of in the award of multi-billion contracts at the airport and alleged mismanagement of the aviation authority.
Makuza, the former accounting officer of CAA was sacked in 2017 by the minister of works and transport, Eng. Monica Ntege Azuba, over performance and alleged mismanagement of CAA.
Makuza’s contract, which was due to expire at the end of 2017, was terminated on March 27th 2017.
Mulyagonja said in her report to Parliament that allegations that Makuza acted irregularly when he wrote a letter to the procurement manager of CAA indicating availability of funds for procurement of a contractor for the sh10b sub projects undertaken to clear the site for the major works was “found to be untrue as CAA did not have any funds for those sub-projects.”
The report is also copied to clerk the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige, minister of works and transport, Azuba, Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury ministry of Finance Keith Muhakanizi among others.
Following Makuza’s sacking, the IGG embarked on investigations into allegations of mismanagement of CAA by Makuza, especially the failure to supervise the on-going works on the expansion of Entebbe International Airport.
The IGG’s investigations focused on alleged mismanagement of the procurement process of the airport cleaning firm, hygiene standards at the airport and the amount of money paid to the cleaning firm.
On the allegation of irregular closure of Air Uganda by Makuza without consulting other stakeholders, Mulyagonja said it was not Makuza’s fault but the airline was found wanting by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
“Air Uganda’s operations among others, were suspended after a visit by ICAO auditors to establish the status of compliance of the operators with the certification processes as established by CAA, which revealed serious safety concerns,” she said.
It was also alleged that Makuza unlawfully varied the contract price of the airport expansion works. After two years of investigations, Mulyangoja said in her report that the $324m (about sh119b) Entebbe airport expansion project was not mismanaged by Makuza, but faults CAA for signing the airport expansion project with a Chinese company, China Communications Construction Company Limited (CCCCL), before they cleared the site of encumbrances.
“CAA should ensure that before signing the contract for phase II of the expansion of Entebbe International Airport, an independent opinion is obtained from a consultant on the costs and the works to be undertaken,” she said.
The IGG has also ordered CAA to commence negotiations with CCCCL and Police to ensure that the police quarters within the Airport are relocated.
On the 42 police houses on Airport land in Kigungu, the IGG has given CAA ninety days to process the land title for the land for future repossession of the land.
“The 42 police houses in Kigungu were constructed without approved building plans by Entebbe Municipal Council because CAA does not have a certificate of title for that land. Therefore, public funds amounting to sh9.3b were exposed to a risk,” she said in her report.
Mulyagonja added, “CAA should, within ninety days from receipt of this report process a land title for the land it owns at Kigungu where police houses and the transmission station are located to avoid land grabbers taking advantage of the absence of a certificate of title to encroach on Government property.”
Makuza was appointed CAA’s managing director in 2008 following the retirement of Ambrose Akandonda. He joined CAA in 1991 as deputy managing director. In 1975 he served as Accounts assistant in the former Uganda Commercial Bank(UCB) and in 1977-1984 he was elevated to serve as acting branch manager of UCB Kabale . In 1985 served as Principal Senior Banking officer in Bank of Uganda, in 1988 he served as manager in charge of credit institution in Centenary Rural Development Bank .
(Source: New Vision)