By Najibu Mulema
The pilots and other technical team of workers of Uganda Air Cargo Corporation have spent 12 full months without pay.
Basing on the Auditor General’s report, the company managers had “promised to pay all salary arrears by the end of January 2016”.
Unfortunately, upto now the workers haven’t received any penny from their bosses.
The exact amount which the corporation owes its workers is not clear.
Accordingly to Daily Monitor, when contacted, Mr Fred Kyankye, Uganda Air Cargo general manager, who manages business, staff and fund, declined to discuss the matter in details,only saying,”its not the right way to run a government business.”
He added, “for somebody to go to a news paper to say he has not been paid, he is not being serious.The company has it’s owners.”
According to a December 2015 report by the Auditor General, as of June 30, 2015, company owed its staff Shs1.3 billion for six months.
The company managers, according to the report, attributed the delay to pay the salaries to Civil Aviation Authority (CAA’s) withdrawal of its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC).
When contacted, CAA’s director of safety, security and economic regulation, Mr Samuel Muneeza, said the firm’s aircraft “had to undergo recertification”.
Mr Muneeza said he could “not comment” on the claim that Uganda Air cargo’s failure to pay salaries was occasioned by withdrawal of its licence.
Captain Mike Mukula, an independent pilot, said Uganda Air cargo lost revenue in the months its aircraft were grounded.
“Aircraft are supposed to be in the air, flying, not on the ground,” he said.
In July, two pilots handed in their resignation letters, which management reportedly accepted.
When contacted, one of the two, Capt Aaron Obiro, confirmed he had resigned because of what he says was non-payment of his salary.
Another pilot who preferred to stay anonymous said they were promised to be paid 7 months back but upto now they have done nothing.
“I am planning to terminate my services,” he said.