KAMPALA —The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has dismissed claims that Entebbe International Airport, a sovereign and strategic asset of the country could be taken over by China if Uganda defaults on the $200m (Shs713b) loan repayment for the expansion of the airport.
Speaking to this website on Saturday,
Mr. Vianney Mpungu Luggya, the Manager Public Affairs at UCAA termed the allegations as pure propaganda, saying Uganda was ahead of schedule on repayment of the loan and that there should be no cause for alarm.
“We would like to make it categorically clear that the allegation that Entebbe International Airport has been given away for cash is false,” Mr. Luggya told Ugstandard.com.
He said government cannot give away a national asset like an international airport.
“We have said it before and repeat that it has not happened, and is not going to happen,” Mr. Luggya said, also inisiting that “there isn’t any ounce of truth in this, and it should be disregarded with the contempt it deserves”.
He explained that Exim Bank loan terms provide a grace period of 7 years, and we are still within that grace period during which only interest is paid, and government has not defaulted on those obligations.
Mr. Luggya said it is true that Uganda Civil Aviation Authority opened up a Sales Collection Account in Stanbic Bank where all the Authority’s revenues are deposited in line with the Escrow Account Agreement terms, but said noted that the Authority still enjoys the freedom and liberty of spending what is collected on the account as per the budget insisting that “no one controls our finances”.
“The lender’s monitoring of the account is only similar to what happens when one gets a salary loan or any other loan for that matter, and the bank requests that the salary is channeled through their bank. It does not mean that lending bank takes over your salary,” he explained.