The embattled former Uganda Airlines chief executive officer Cornwell Muleya has been arrested by the Inspectorate of Government. The deputy inspector general of government (IGG), Dr Patricia Achan Okiria says that Muleya was picked up for failing to heed their summons.
"Muleya has been arrested and charged with the offense of failure to attend before the Inspectorate of Government when so ordered," reads the statement by Okiria. Muleya is accused of disobeying orders of the IG contrary to Section 35 of the Inspectorate of Government Act, 2002.
He “willfully and without reasonable justification or excuse refused to comply with the orders of the Inspectorate dated the 23rd day of May 2022 requiring his attendance to give evidence and produce documents to the Inspectorate of Government, regarding mismanagement of public funds, procurement, and recruitment of staff at the Uganda Airlines under reference HQT/CO/561/2021.”
Okiria explains that they summoned Muleya to give information and facilitate the investigations into various acts of mismanagement of public funds by public officers at the Uganda National Airlines Company (UNAC) between May and June this year. The company trading as Uganda Airlines is owned by the government.
Muleya recorded a statement at the headquarters of the inspectorate and is currently detained at Kampala Central police station. This comes weeks after the Wakiso Labour office referred the Shs 3.5 billion dispute between Uganda Airlines and Muleya for unlawful termination to the Industrial court citing a substantial question of law that arose from its proceedings.
Muleya lodged his complaint reference number LD.07.04.22 under Employment Act 2006 at the Wakiso Labour office on April 4, 2022, demanding Shs 3,545,186,318 in salary arrears and terminal benefits. This includes salary arrears of Shs 126 million for the month of February 2022, Shs 1 billion as payment for general damages for reputation damages, and Shs 1.2 billion as payment for damages for loss of expectation interest in employment among other claims. It came after the government terminated his contract as the CEO of Uganda Airlines in mid-February this year. Muleya's woes started on April 21st, 2021 after Works minister, Edward Katumba Wamala sent him and 12 other top officials on forced leave.
The minister eventually suspended the officials on the orders of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to pave way for investigations into allegations of financial mismanagement, collusion, and nepotism in staff recruitment among other issues. Muleya served as CEO from 2019 to May last year.