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Kampala sends Uganda Airlines’ execs on leave

Members of the Uganda Airlines (UR, Entebbe/Kampala) management team, including Chief Executive Officer Cornwell Muleya, have been placed “on leave” over performance issues and delays in the start of the airline’s international operations.

Reacting to a report in the Saturday Monitor on May 1 that Muleya and top managers had been suspended, Uganda’s Works and Transport Minister, Edward Katumba Wamala, announced on his official Twitter feed: “I would like to clarify speculations about top @UG_Airlines bosses being suspended. Because of the low tempo operations caused by COVID-19 and the fact that we have not yet started the long-haul operations, top management at @UG_Airlines were asked to take leave”. He added: “This was done to train and test deputies for quality assurance, let top management rest as we prepare for the long-haul operations. Accumulated leave would cost the airline at some point”.

The Ugandan Army general also shared a statement by Board Chairman Pereza Godfrey Ahabwe on May 2, 2021, in which the airline confirmed that “some members of our management team have taken leave. During their absence, the roles will continue to be performed by the organisation in line with our human resource policies. All our operations continue normally.”

Muleya did not respond to requests for comment. The government was recently reported to have extended his contract. Meanwhile, according to The Independent, a new acting chief executive, Steven Wegoye, has been appointed.

This appears to follow a meeting between Wamala and the Uganda Airlines senior management team at the ministry’s headquarters in Kampala last week. Unnamed sources claimed between five to 10 senior managers and all board members were affected, including Muleya, Finance Director Paul Turacayisenga, Marketing Director Rogers Wamala, Human Resource Manager Joseph Sebbowa, and the Safety Director Bruno Oringi.

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