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Kamya lauds 'people power', to probe corruption at Entebbe airport

Entebbe airport

Entebbe airport

Extortion and bribery allegations against officials at Entebbe international airport are indicators of gross mismanagement at the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA), the inspector general of government (IGG) Beti Olive Kamya, has said.
Kamya says, over the last five years, UCAA has been riddled with corruption scandals and the inspectorate has investigated 21 cases of corruption and huge sums of money recovered from fraudulent procurements.
Over the past two weeks, several travellers have taken to social media to vent their frustrations and cries against the persistent extortion and corruption by immigration officials. The travellers' reports have since led to the arrest and dismissal of several staff at the airport by UCAA.
Kamya lauded the citizens for speaking out en masse, saying such fury and momentum is what is needed in the fight against corruption which has led to the loss of taxpayers' money. The country loses nearly Shs 10 trillion every year or Shs 1 million per hour to corruption. 
She emphasised that corruption in Uganda cannot be effectively addressed without functional systems that enable the general public to be actively involved in the processes of promoting good governance and taking charge of the fight.

"The power of the people when they get out. True, the problem has been going on but it [UCAA] has never come out. The institutions have never come out to respond to the public outcry the way they did. Immigration came out, [U]CAA came out, but for us, we're going to go deeper and investigate and persecute because we have the powers of prosecution, of interdiction, of summoning people. So we want to go really deep into what is going on," said Kamya.

Kamya says UCAA cannot investigate itself and that her office will instead carry out a systematic inquiry in the institution that seeks to cure the persistent corruption scandals. Without divulging details about the investigation, she said that they will be able to make recommendations and take necessary action within the IG mandate.

"CAA cannot investigate itself, it can investigate their staff but we need a systematic investigation in the entire institution. Where is the loophole that allowed this kind of thing to happen? So while they have gone to investigate, the IG is interested in the deeper issues because what you saw happening in [U]CAA is a tip of the iceberg under the ocean there is a whole mass of sold ice but that in itself is the tip of an iceberg. Since the problem is not going away we have decided to have thorough investigations on the systematic issues because what happens in the end is a result of so much going on behind the table," she said.

Even though she commended the director of Citizenship and Immigration Control, Maj Gen Apollo Kasiita-Gowa for swiftly apprehending the culprits, Kamya said that it was not enough to dismiss or commit them to disciplinary action.

“As the inspectorate of government, we shall work with the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority and the Directorate of Immigration to prosecute those that were apprehended. It is not enough to dismiss or punish them, but we also need them to be prosecuted,” she said.
Following public complaints, all staff at the airport will now be required to wear name tags at all times for easy identification. UCAA also re-instated a 2021 directive to airport staff banning the use of personal mobile phones while on duty.

Last Friday, UCAA deputy director general, Olive Birungi Lumonya said that one of their staff suspected to be involved in extortion had been arrested after a video recording showing him bargaining for a bribe went viral on social media. Lumonya also said that since 2020, 26 staff operating at the airport have been terminated, suspended and others subjected to other disciplinary measures.

Some of the cases committed by the airport officials since 2020 include extortion of money, attempted extortion and human trafficking, negligence, aiding smuggling of rhino horns, theft of money from passenger bags, conspiracy to traffic humans, facilitating illegal passengers and others.


+5 #1 kabayekka 2023-01-27 06:00
This is all about political hot air! It is a government that has been building this ice berg of corruption for the last 37 years and counting!

God knows how this lady politician is going to convince the Ganda tribespeople to elect again and again this corrupt African leadership.

One million shillings every hour is a lot of corruption money. And one believes it is dirty money that is constantly being earned and then used to buy land assets from many Ganda natives as they suffer poverty and homelessness.
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+5 #2 Lakwena 2023-01-27 10:50
This a government of the corrupt (criminals), by the corrupt and for the corrupt.

Except a completely new government (regime), there is no way corruption can be fought by the criminals themselves.

In other words, the tough talking Kamya of this country in the name of fighting corruption, are simply window-dressing, hoodwinking and/or smoke-screening the vice.

They never mean what they say, and say what they mean.

Otherwise, since to corrupt from Latin, corrumpere is to break; to commit any crime is to corrupt the law.

How do Ugandans expect a regime that came to power through lying and high criminal means, to respect any rule of law?
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+4 #3 kabayekka 2023-01-27 11:53
What is the matter with this country and its blantant corruption?

UCAA staff as it seems, have all the power not only to extort and stop passengers off aircrafts at Entebbe international airport but can arrest journalists on the highways and flung them into prison cells!

This iceberg of adminisration corruption can only be stopped in its tracks by damaging its environment.

That is why it is most important to continue to use smartphones as passengers embark and disembark planes at this African Airport! It must not be against the law!
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0 #4 Akot 2023-01-27 15:16
kabayekka, thanks.

Ugandans MUST say NO to the tribalistic system Museveni knew was his only means to own Uganda!

Museveni is about to complete conquest & soon, he won't need tribal leaders in posts & every tribal land will belong to him legally, officially, constitutionally!

Museveni will rule for life & leave the post to his son & the outsidde world will watch in silence as it's tribally divided ruled Ugandans ensuring the family business!

36+++ years, why haven't Ugandans understood they MUST say NO to the tribalistic system & UNITE, to end Museveni's evil rule, hold on their land/tax money, freedom...?

Why have Ugandans made migrant Museveni their chief tribal leader, owner of their land & wait for the son to replace the dad finally?
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+1 #5 Lysol 2023-01-27 19:36
Kamaya is just being disingenuous.
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+1 #6 Kidepwe 2023-01-28 14:00
Quoting Lysol:
Kamaya is just being disingenuous.

Thanks Lysol for that observation. They all become disingenuous, the moment the jump onto Museveni's bandwagon.

Because, if she wasn't disingenuous, the day Museveni cautioned her to go slow on his corrupt buddies, is the day she should have thrown in the towel.
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0 #7 Zaitun 2023-01-28 19:56
It is quite saddening to note the degree of shit going on in every administrative sector in the country! The question is why all this corruption if it not a developped spirit to get rich quickly?

We have all seen people who had nothing, but oday control every sector of the country- right from the so-called president of the country, his brother, children and relatives!

Many hard working Ugandans are already fed up with this spirit of excessive appetite of fraudelently appropriating other people's hard earned economy.

The bush war spirit has destroyed the country right to the core but with far-reaching consequences. Many of these men who came out of the bush and we think are normal are actually pschologically abnormal.

They actually think destroying the entire socio-economic system that was once in place is quite normal. But the truth is that Uganda is heading for doom under these people.
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