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Entebbe airport: UCAA apologises for extortion allegations, pledges enhanced supervision

Entebbe airport officials have been accused of extortion

Entebbe airport officials have been accused of extortion

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has apologised for extortion complaints levelled against officials at Entebbe International Airport. The authority has since pledged to reinforce the supervision of immigration officials. 

This week, Uganda's social media spheres have been awash with allegations from travellers who claim that some immigration officers demand bribes before clearing them to take flights. The authority admitted that there were cases of extortion that were thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken against those found culpable.

Emmanuel Barungi, Entebbe airport general manager said that they have noted the complaints and said that where such incidents could have happened, they were regrettable. He said that they will step up supervision to ensure acts of extortion are curbed.

 

According to UCAA, some of the airport personnel do not report directly to the authority but to other service providers that include, including handling agents (NAS and DAS), airlines, ministry of Health through port health, security agencies, Uganda Revenue Authority customs, and ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (Labour externalization agents), among others.

However, in cases reported, UCAA management said in a statement on Thursday, that they have been and would be thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken against those found culpable.

A traveller who spoke on condition of anonymity says that no specific amount of money is demanded but it ranges between $100 and $500 depending on the person querying and the nature of the query. The victims may then, after negotiations, be directed to a disguised person to hand over the money.

The source says that the alternative is to refuse to pay the amount and miss the flight. But usually, a traveller weighing between losing money for another air ticket, and also getting late for the scheduled business, chooses to pay the bribe and save themselves the bigger bother.

But Barungi said that any airport staff demanding money from travellers is committing an illegal act. In March last year, three officials were arrested by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit after a refugee missed a flight ending up spending another $1,800 for another air ticket. UCAA has cautioned travellers against paying bribes to any staff for any favours, adding that the traveller could equally be held liable for the act. 

Comments

+15 #1 ugthinker 2023-01-20 16:32
Ugandans are interesting, do you think the rot at EBBE Airport is any different from other government departments?

That’s the Uganda you choose every time you vote to reinstate the very people responsible for the total breakdown!

Dr Besigye, better than anyone else has articulated all these issues, Ugandans brand him angry!
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+7 #2 Kabinda 2023-01-20 16:49
Poor Uganda! What kind of curse did Amin leave on Uganda!
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+5 #3 Namukoye Geoffrey 2023-01-20 16:50
look at the owners of NAS and DAS you will find that the extortionists are linked to those agencies.

follow up on the region they come from and you will find that most of them are from Teso land
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+1 #4 kabayekka 2023-01-20 20:51
It is unfortunate that the airport staff are broke and want the passengers to supplement their incomes.

But the way one sees the small traffic of planes flying in and out of this international airport, these staff members are in for a hard time! These days some international airports worldwide have a volume of 15000 planes to deal with everyday!
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+8 #5 Rick Ntambi 2023-01-21 01:22
The CAA official response is reflective of the lack of patriotism and understanding. It is also disgusting that Africans continue to mistreat their own citizens while worshipping foreigners. And it is not customer care, it is ignorance and corruption.

The second evil at EBB airport is the naked tribalism and nepotism. It seems only people from Western Uganda are qualified for jobs at the airport.

Ugandans have been desensitized to this cancer because it has spread to every organ of the Ugandan government, from the armed forces to the civil service to educational institutions.

It difficult to disciple the corrupt and arrogant staff at the airport because they are "untouchables" placed their by big people from government.

If the staffing of the Uganda Airlines follows the same trend, it will be doomed as people will prefer to travel by foreign airlines.
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+3 #6 Sue 2023-01-21 02:06
Quoting ugthinker:
Ugandans are interesting, do you think the rot at EBBE Airport is any different from other government departments?

That’s the Uganda you choose every time you vote to reinstate the very people responsible for the total breakdown!

Dr Besigye, better than anyone else has articulated all these issues, Ugandans brand him angry!


Well Ugandans can't legislate for museveni stealing elections and forcing himself on Ugandans. It is comparable to being rated when you powerless to do anything to prevent it
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+2 #7 Joe 2023-01-21 02:33
First time I hear someone insinuating that people from Teso land are extortionists.

Your sample size must be too small to generalize findings to the entire population. Namukoye Geoffrey, are you a tribalist?
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+2 #8 Remase 2023-01-21 07:21
Fellow Ugandans, when would we ever realize that nothing will ever change until we get rid of M7?

It one thing to extort money, however, not only do they extort money but demand for invitation letters from travelers! As if they are going to give you a visa!

People have ended up missing their flights. They pay the extortion money together with charges of missing the flight! Then their is also the yellow fever book. They airport has made it's own law that one should only get that yellow book from the airport! Including but not limited to, being vaccinated twice, ending up in double jeopardy! The airport is a business run by M7's hardcore organized criminals!
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-4 #9 kambarage 2023-01-21 23:09
Quoting ugthinker:
Ugandans are interesting, do you think the rot at EBBE Airport is any different from other government departments?

That’s the Uganda you choose every time you vote to reinstate the very people responsible for the total breakdown!

Dr Besigye, better than anyone else has articulated all these issues, Ugandans brand him angry!


Dr. Besigye is part of the problem. FDC is an extension of NRM while NUP is an extension of the rot in the ghetto. This is a problem of socialization that can be solved by schools and a complete overhaul of the law to restrict bail for corrupt officials, murderers and enhanced use of electronic systems in procurement of jobs and services and detection of crime.

Besides CCTV cameras, Sensitive IT systems can be used to eliminate unqualified job applicants and bids. Overthrowing elected government cannot solve social problems like corruption because the new one will begin where the defunct stopped.
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0 #10 Adios 2023-01-23 15:29
The whole world is seeing what's happening, no one trust's flying with ugandan airways. Shame on you .
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