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Former Uganda Airlines CEO Cornwell Muleya arrested

Former Uganda Airlines chief executive officer, Cornwell Muleya (PHOTO /Courtesy)

The former Uganda Airlines chief executive officer, Cornwell Muleya, has been arrested.

According to police, Muleya was arrested on Tuesday, 21 June 2022, for defying summons of the Inspectorate of Government (IG).

The IG spokesperson, Ms Munira Ali, confirmed the arrest and said he is expected to be produced in court on Wednesday, June 22.

According to the charge sheet signed by deputy IGG Patricia Achan Okiria, Mr Muleya between May and June 2022 willfully refused to comply with an order of the Inspectorate of Government dated May 23, 2022 requiring him to give evidence and produce documents, regarding “mismanagement of public funds, procurements and recruitment of staff at the Uganda Airlines.”

On July 17, 2021, President Museveni directed the Inspector General of Government (IGG) to investigate and prosecute Uganda Airlines bosses named in corruption scandals. The July 17 letter was addressed to Works minister Gen Katumba Wamala and copied to IGG and other high-ranking government officials.

In the letter, President Museveni ordered the dissolution of the board of directors of the national carrier following an investigation that revealed widespread corruption, collusion and mismanagement.

The President accused the Uganda Airline officials of extorting money from job applicants, bungling procurement contracts, recruiting relatives, friends and church members across the network, maintaining ghost workers on the airline’s payroll and giving jobs to unqualified pilots at the expense of the safety of passengers

This comes as Muleya, a Zambian national, battles the government for compensation after he was sacked in February 2022.

On April 29, 2021, Muleya was sent on forced leave by the then Uganda Airlines board that was later suspended and eventually dissolved in August.

On May 21, 2021, he was suspended for three months, which was further extended for another three months, pending an investigation into serious allegations of mismanagement, before he was eventually sacked on February 15, 2022.

Mr Muleya, acting through Muwema & Co. Advocates and Solicitors, petitioned the Wakiso District Labour Office to declare that Mr Bageya Waiswa, the Ministry of Works permanent secretary, acted illegally when he sacked him as the Uganda Airlines chief executive officer without a fair hearing.

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