Legislators on the Committee on Commissions, State Authorities & State Enterprises (COSASE) have directed the Ministry of Defence to pay arrears over Shs1.4 billion owed to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The Chairperson of COSASE, Hon. Abdu Katuntu, noted that the CAA had a large number of Government debtors and the Ministry of Defence was one of them.
“CAA has an alarming figure in terms of debtors with the Ministry of Defence and Uganda Revenue Authority having the highest figures. As a Committee, we would like to know why other Government institutions would cripple another Government institution?” he asked.
Katuntu further said that when the institutions were set up, they were expected to be self-accounting, by raising their own resources and operate normally.
“Government institutions should be able to pay their obligations as and when they arise,” he added.
The Managing Director of CAA, Mr. Eric Kakuba, informed the Committee that the Ministry of Defence was adamant and has not paid for services at the airport.
“We render services like navigation that is includes both landing and take-off, utilities and ground rent used as offices. We have tried getting to them in vain. This amount has increased over time,” Kakuba said.
However, Defence Accounting Officer, Edith Buturo, noted that they have on several occasions tried to get in touch with the Aviation authority but it had not been forthcoming in meeting them.
“Overtime, CAA has been billing us on a number of services consumed by our Airforce in Entebbe. The Uganda People’s Defence Force Airforce team says no one has approached them requesting them to pay rent. Hon. Members we can’t assure you; we cannot commit any financial obligation outside a formal agreement,” she said.
Legislators also asked Uganda Revenue Authority to honour their tenancy agreements and pay their arrears as they are the biggest client Civil Aviation has and cannot go on defaulting on their dues.
Katuntu advised both government institutions to meet with the CAA and plan their payment plans.
He also said that just as they rent private properties, they need to do so with the government institution.