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How Ssenyonyi faked COSASE report after pocketing Shs1.4b bribe from CAA top bosses

Uganda's Leader of Opposition in Parliament and NUP Spokesperson Joel Ssenyonyi (Photo/Courtesy)

Kampala, (UG):- Fresh details have emerged exposing how NUP Spokesperson and Current Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi bagged a mouthwatering Ugx1.4 billion bribe from authorities at the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority to forge a report about the organization’s activities.

At the time (2022), CAA had been immensely engaged in a fraud scandal that tainted the image of the Aviation body for which Ssenyonyi was at the centre of the scrutiny by COSASE into the misgivings of the institution.

CAA had among other things been accused of engaging in the swindling and mismanaging up to Ugx 720 billion that had been borrowed from the Export-Import Bank (EXIM Bank) of China to repair and upgrade several installations at Uganda’s main Port of entry and Exit.

Among the things supposed to be repaired included the taxiways at the airport, the runways 17/30 and 18/35, and the terminal building, among other things.

However, CAA first hired Seyani and Brothers for Consultation on the work which in turn was established that it wasn’t competent and such their work would leave Entebbe Airport unsafe.

Indeed, the airport remained in a sorry state despite being repaired which even led to the overshooting of the Rwanda Airline aircraft on the runway was it landed in Entebbe in 2022.

The incident which led to an intensified probe at the COSASE also became a subject of contention after the President immediately ordered the UPDF Engineering Brigade to take over the work of the construction and upgrade of the Airport.

As UPDF took over, the Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises, led by Joel Ssenyonyi engaged in a public probe into the matter. Among the issues raised, Seyani and Brothers had hired a 13-year-old consultant to engage in the repairs and upgrade of such a facility, contrary to what was required.

The members also found out that the contractor subcontracted part of the work at the international airport to a company whose owner was underage.

The committee found out that the booth for ticket payment and check-in machines built at a whopping UGX 5.6 billion was not operating.

Also, the COSASE committee found out that the sums of money collected from parking fees and tickets at the airport weren’t being accounted for. It was being eaten by the mafia networks at the airport.

So, after the team compiled its good report and handed it over to Ssenyonyi as head of COSASE such that he could present it on the floor of Parliament, the Committee members were shocked when he presented a fake report, devoid of the mess they had actually reported about what was happening at the airport.

Highly placed sources that asked not to be named, told this website that the Nakawa West MP started engagements, with an intermediary who is a senior politician on how the COSASE Chairperson would meet a delegation from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority.

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The Authority, at the time, was led by an acting Director General, Mr. Fred Bamwesigye who had also been accused of not having the requisite requirements to lead such an international Aviation body.

Through emissaries who also involved staff at the Ministry of Works and Transport and a member of the Board of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, Ssenyonyi asked for a whooping Ugx 3 billion to settle the matter.

“We however convinced him to go with the 1.4 billion which he took and didn’t share with colleagues in the committee.” One of the people who delivered the money to the MP said.

Audio recordings shared with this publication clearly pin the Nakawa West MP promising to make an intervention that would not further the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority whose name had been damaged not derailed.

No sooner had Ssenyonyi received the money than the Mawokota South MP, Hon Yusuf Nsibambi (FDC) started engaging MPs and the then Leader of the Opposition Mathias Mpuuga complaining about the bribery scheme.

Ssenyonyi, who at the time, was determined not to share his loot with anyone saw bad days coming ahead of him and, according to sources shared up to Ugx 400 million with a number of MPs.

One of the MPs who allegedly got a share of the loot told this website that such deals oftentimes happen amongst opposition legislators.

Soon after Ssenyonyi presented a fake report in Parliament about the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, members of the COSASE committee started complaining about the corruption that occurred.

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“We also took the issue to the Shadow cabinet and it was discussed. He (Ssenyonyi) was tasked to explain. However, Hon Mpuuga the Leader of Opposition then cared less about the matter,” the source said.

Well as both Ssenyonyi and the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority claim there wasn’t any wrongdoing, Parliament wondered why one person single-handedly changed a committee report if it was not for his personal gains.

“Take the allegation and utter trash. It is not true,” said Vianney Luggya, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Spokesperson.

This publication will continue to dig deeper into the allegations against the current LoP, his accomplices and the institutions engulfed in our next round of this unending saga

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