Uganda Airlines CEO Bamuturaki received 49m as per diem for 10-foreign trips she never took

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In June 2021, as then acting CEO of Uganda Airlines, Jenifer Bamuturaki generated a requisition for $12,750, (about Ugx 49m) which was approved by the permanent secretary in the ministry of Works and Transport to facilitate her trips to 10 destination countries that never materialized.

Bamuturaki was scheduled to travel to the Uganda Airlines offices in Johannesburg; Kinshasa; Juba, Dar-es-Salaam, Mogadishu, Zanzibar, Burundi; Kilimanjaro, Mombasa, and Nairobi to interact with the staff there.

However, during a meeting with MPs on the Cosase on Tuesday , and the airline officials led by Bamuturaki, a copy of the requisition was presented, implicating the CEO for neither travelling nor refunding the money. Joel Ssenyonyi, the Cosase chairperson, tasked Bamuturaki to provide proof confirming whether she travelled or not.

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Bamuturaki treated the question with a prolonged silence before she emotionally responded that she will only provide her answers in writing.

Influence peddling, conflict of interest
According to Hon. Ssenyonyi, in 2019, the airlines irregularly and selectively handpicked three advertising firms without pre-qualification and a competitive bidding process and subsequently, awarded the contract to the firm with the highest quotation.
The shortlisted firms were; Kenyan based Abbavater Group Ltd, Star Leo and WMC Africa.
The contract was awarded to Abbavater Group Ltd at a cost of ugx. 174.6 million per month yet the other media firms – Star Leo and WMC Africa had quoted lower prices of ugx. 36.8 million and ugx. 35.2 million Per month respectively.
The Auditor General’s report implicated the airline’s management for implementing 25 procurements outside the approved plan for the FY 2020/2021. For instance, the direct purchase of vehicles worth ugx. 103.2 million for the airline’s office in South Sudan.

In the report, the Auditor General also queried the entity’s property and equipment management after ugx. 1.127 billion was spent to purchase different assets. Unfortunately, the assets couldn’t be traced in the assets’ registry.

Further, the Auditor General reported that Dairoo Air Services (DAS), an air cargo airline at Entebbe that operated all-cargo services had billed Uganda Airlines $43,105 (ugx. 164 million) for unpaid ground rent but a review of their invoice indicated they were paid only $8,620 (ugx. 32.8 million) in April 2021.
Tasked to verify name
Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi, the committee chairperson, gave Bamuturaki an ultimatum of two weeks to ensure that she rectifies inconsistencies surrounding her name.
In 2019, Bamuturaki is said to have signed a deed poll to change her name to Jennifer Arnold Lenkai. However, the committee notes that she continues to use her previous name [Jennifer Bamuturaki] yet she signed her job contract with government using the name ‘Lenkai’.

“I am in a dilemma; I am wondering who I am dealing with here? That is why I am advising her to put her name issues right,” Hon. Ssenyonyi said.
According to Bamuturaki, she changed her name to Jennifer Arnold Lenkai and later changed her mind to continue using her previous name [Jennifer Bamuturaki], but did not register a new deed poll to legalise it.
“In our reports, are we going to say Jennifer Bamuturaki or Jennifer Arnold Lenkai? Let us sort out these issues… you can call yourself whatever you want, but sort it out legally. We might put together our report as a committee and it has Bamuturaki and she goes to court saying she is Jenifer Arnold Lenkai,” Hon. Ssenyonyi said.
The scrutiny of the Auditor General’s report continues today Thursday, 15 September 2022.

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