The four-time Presidential candidate Rtd Col Dr Kizza Besigye has said the rot that was unearthed at Entebbe International Airport is one of the signs that Uganda is purely under the capture of Mafias.
Speaking during his weekend political talkshow on the Alternative Digital talk (online media channel), the former president of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) noted that since the airport is a major entry and exit hub in Uganda, it supports many illegal transactions by the mafias.
Dr Besigye added that one of the illegal and major trades that are carried out at Entebbe Airport are; minerals, drugs and human trafficking. He added that for such deals to succeed, the airport must be filled with mafia agents who help in running these criminal acts.
“As long as we still have Mafia mercenaries running this country, expect such things because that is how they acquire power and money that makes them strong. Entebbe Airport is just a drop in the sea, this criminality is all over the borderlines of Uganda. I’m not surprised, even the international community knows that. So, there is nothing we can change much until the entire system is erased.”
Dr. Besigye’s action follows a recent outcry by a good number of Ugandans who disclosed cases of extortion by the staff members of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). One of those who came out is musician Donald Rugambwa Rutaisire, known by his stage name as Don MC Kapata who posted on his Twitter that,“Entebbe airport is full of ignorant, arrogant, incompetent, corrupt beings …These guys’ main job is to make travellers miss their flights. Recently I missed my flight because I refused to give them the 1,000 dollars they asked for so they could allow me on the flight whose ticket I already had. Oyo alina Sente, waba tatuwadde tajja kujilinnya” [‘He has money. He won’t board the plane without giving us some money”] one of them told the colleague; with an angry face like a muwuulu who sent transport money to a sure only for her not to show up.”
Following several complaints of extortion and missed flights, Civil Aviation Authority issued a statement distancing itself from such acts.
“The Authority urges the travelling public not to be compelled or lured into paying money to any staff they interface with (from whichever agency) in the course of travel through Entebbe International Airport. Please immediately report any case(s) of extortion in exchange for favours, including cases where the passenger has already left the airport,” the UCAA reads.
UCAA Deputy Director General, Ms Olive Birungi Lumonya further informed the public that the authority had taken action and arrested some staff suspected to be involved in extortion.
“We would like to reassure the public that all cases and complaints submitted to UCAA with evidence will be thoroughly investigated and action taken. A number of those, which were submitted earlier, were worked on and action is taken, with staff found culpable and disciplined. From 2020 to date, 26 members of staff from various agencies operating at the airport have either been suspended, terminated or subjected to other disciplinary measures,” she said on Friday.
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