LOP scoffs at government’s shoddy deal of selling off Entebbe Airport to China

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KABALE– The leader of opposition in the Parliament of Uganda Hon. Mathias Mpuuga has vowed to summon Ministers next week on Tuesday during parliamentary sitting to explain the government’s shoddy deal to secretly sell off Entebbe International Airport to the Chinese.

Mpuuga said this during a press conference held at Cephas inn hotel in Kabale district with journalists during his tour to Kigezi sub region intended to walk the talk of opposition agenda to consult in every community in Uganda to listen, share torch and feel communities.

Entebbe International Airport is Uganda’s only international airport and handles over 1.9 million passengers per year. Its seizure by China would greatly dent the legacy of the 77-year-old Museveni, who came to power on the back of an armed uprising in 1986, and expose him to election defeat.

The Progress of works at the airport that commenced in 1972, has reached 75.2 per cent, with two runways having reached overall completion of 100 per cent.

Mpuuga revealed that someone might end up losing his or her job over the Entebbe International Airport saga. 

“I have several times heard President Museveni accusing opposition over working for foreign interests, so does he want to ask that question any more that who is working at the service of foreign interests” Mpuga said.

Mpuuga who doubles as the deputy president of National Unity platform party in Buganda Region and Member of Parliament for Masaka Municipality told journalists that the accountability committee for opposition in charge of statutory enterprises will commence its inquest into activities and works of civil aviation authority to access the alleged shoddy deal of selling Entebbe International Airport to Chinese.

CUE IN…….MPUUGA ON AIRPORT ENG//

On Tuesday, 17 November 2015, the Uganda government signed an agreement with Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) to borrow $207 million at two per cent upon disbursement. The loan had a maturity period of 20 years including a seven-year grace period.

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) says that some provisions in the Financing Agreement with China expose Entebbe International Airport and other Ugandan assets to be attached and taken over by Chinese lenders upon arbitration in Beijing.

It also emerged that China has rejected recent pleas by Uganda to renegotiate the toxic clauses of the 2015 loan, leaving Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s administration in limbo.

According to the Daily Monitor, the Ugandan government waived international immunity in the agreement it signed to secure the loans, exposing Entebbe International Airport to take over without international protection.

In desperation, Uganda in March sent a delegation to Beijing hoping to renegotiate the toxic clauses of the deal but the officials came back empty-handed as China would not allow the terms of the original deal to be tampered with.

Last week, Uganda’s Finance Minister Matia Kasaija apologized to parliament for the “mishandling of the $207 million loan” from the China Exim Bank to expand Entebbe International Airport.