UGANDA AIRLINES BOSS UNDER PROBE

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  • SHE HAS 15 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE
  • JENNIFER BAMUTARAKI HAS NO POST-GRADUATE TRAINING IN ADMINISTRATION
  • SOURCES ARE POINTING AT A POLITICAL GODFATHER
A parliamentary committee found that Uganda Airlines boss  Jennifer Bamuturaki did not hold the required degree when she was hired.The revelation came after the CEO submitted copies of her Curriculum Vitae (CV), job description and academic documents to the Committee on State Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) which is probing the findings from the Auditor General’s report for Financial Year 2020/2021.

 

Uganda airlines boss and speaker

 

 

Additionally, Ms. Bamuturaki provided documentation from senior directors and managers. The committee led by Nakawa West MP Joel Ssenyonyi, noted that Ms. Bamuturaki did not hold a postgraduate degree at the time of her appointment, despite the fact that this was a requirement for the position, and instead only held a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work and social administration.

Although Ms. Bamuturaki had the majority of the other qualifications listed in the job advertisement for the CEO position, it was observed that she lacked postgraduate business or administrative training. However, Ms. Bamuturaki indicated that she is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration at Makerere University.

She notes that she is fit for the job and adds that unlike other fields of work in Uganda, the aviation industry administration mostly relies on one’s experience and that she has immense experience in the industry and certificates from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  “In aviation, IATA does not give you degrees. It gives diplomas or certificates.

The certificates I have from IATA, if I put them together, they will come to a diploma but I have a degree. I have the skills, It does not matter whether I went to the moon or whether I did MDD, what matters is [whether] I have the skill, and I do,” she said.

 

HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY DEEMED RELEVANT BY AVIATION INDUSTRY

 

Ms Bamuturaki started her career as a country manager at Imperial Botanical Hotel in July 1995 and then moved to Sheraton Hotel between 1996 and 2000.  At Sheraton she served in several capacities, which include desk relations officer and sales manager. She later joined East African Airlines where she worked between September 2000 and September 2003, before joining a travel agency where she worked as a sales manager for a year.

 

Uganda Airlines
Passengers boarding a Uganda Airlines jet.

 

She later returned to Sheraton Hotel as the Head of Sales and Marketing between 2014 and 2016, and thereafter joined the Golden Tulip Hotel where she served as the director of sales and marketing until 2019 before becoming the Uganda Airlines Commercial Director. Ms Bamuturaki was, thereafter, appointed Chief Executive Officer at the Uganda Airlines.

On how she joined the Uganda Airlines as the director in charge commercial in 2019, Ms Nancy Acora (Lamwo Woman) demanded that she establish the basis of her recruitment. The interest in her academic details came after the committee chairperson, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, noted glaring gaps in the documents she submitted on Wednesday, and in particular cited the missing transcript and the Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE).

MPs led by Mr Martin Muzaale (Buzaaya County) and Mr Yususf Nsibambi (Mawokota South) wondered how she managed to secure the top job even without the academic transcript.  “I used my certificate for bachelor’s degree,” she responded.

“You are surely a lucky citizen. For some of us, they [appointing authorities] even ask for baptism certificates,” Mr Nsibambi said.

“By the time I graduated, I had received a certificate [supporting the BA degree, SWASA],”  explained the Uganda Airlines boss. “When I was applying for the job as commercial director, I had all my originals and I misplaced them. So as I applied, I got a police report and I have used that report to process fresh ones,” Ms Bamuturaki said.

This is when she told MPs that she lost her UCE academic slip and has since embarked on the process of retrieving it. On Wednesday, the legislators learnt that Ms Bamuturaki was appointed when she only possessed a degree and lacked a post-graduate training in administration or any other business related course, which was a must-have for all persons interested in the job as per the advert.

Prior to this, it had been established on Tuesday when the probe commenced, that Ms Bamuturaki earns at least Shs87m monthly, a figure she has since distanced herself from. Lawmakers are also concerned that she used her position to influence the award of the contract to the Abbavater Group Limited, a consultancy firm, to handle ‘bad press’ of the Uganda Airlines within and outside the country.

 

PANEL DISCRETION ON THE TEST

 

She, however, denied the accusations. The MPs then demanded answers from the director of maintenance, Mr Ephraim Bagenda, who at the time served as the CEO of Uganda Airlines when the said firm was procured. He, however, failed to give a conclusive response.

It is however prudent to note that during an interview, the most qualified interviewee could be lacking some requriements and also be having more than required in some other aspect.  The Uganda Airlines boss  15 years experience overshadows the 10 year experience requirement. It may also be wise to evaluate her perfomance in terms of operations and gains attained since her appointment before crucifying her. The timelines given for results could also determine whether the Airline is on the right track in terms of vision and current perfomance.

Note: some excerpts obtained from The Monitor (Uganda)

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