10 August 2009

Uganda: Probe Airport Deal, Says Janet Museveni

Kampala — A probe into the alleged sale of Entebbe Airport should be set up, the First Lady and Ruhaama County MP, Janet Museveni, has proposed. "Let us have a special parliament committee to probe this matter and report back to the caucus since members are not satisfied with the explanation given," Mrs. Museveni told the Movement caucus yesterday.

She said the committee should establish whether the airport is being sold, the terms of sale, the costs, the buyer and the implication.

Mrs. Museveni, who is also the state minister for Karamoja Affairs, was backed by Rujumbura MP Jim Muhwezi. Muhwezi argued that "so many issues had come up and, therefore, there is need for the truth."

Finance minister Syda Bbumba had reportedly told the members that the Government had not sold the airport. Bbumba reportedly added that the Government did not intend to sell the airport, saying it only plans to renovate it.

This however incensed the members who insisted that a committee be set up to establish the sale and renovation issues," a source added.

By press time, members were still debating whether a probe committee should be set up or the minister just provides all the required information.

The committee, sources said, would be composed of MPs from the physical infrastructure, defence and internal affairs and legal committees.

The debate followed a petition by MPs Theodore Ssekikubo, Beatrice Byenkya, Wilfred Nuwagaba, Henry Banyenzaki and Jane Alisemera who called on the Government to reconsider awarding Dodsal Consortium the contract to redevelop and manage the airport until pertinent issues are classified.

The MPs also demanded that foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa explains his alleged role in the matter through his company ENHAS, which handles cargo at the airport.

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