Uganda Airlines CEO Jennifer Bamuturaki did not meet the minimum academic qualification for the job at the time of her appointment, a parliamentary committee revealed.
The revelation came after she presented copies of her Curriculum Vitae (CV), job description and academic documents to the Committee on State Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) that is probing the findings from the Auditor General’s report for Financial Year 2020/2021.
Ms Bamuturaki also submitted documents of top bosses at the level of director and manager.
The committee, chaired by Nakawa West MP Joel Ssenyonyi, indicated that at the time of her appointment, Ms Bamuturaki only had a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Works and Social Administration and did not have a post graduate qualification, yet this was a qualification required for the post.
Whereas Ms Bamuturaki possesses most of the other qualifications contained in the advertisement for the CEO post, it was noted that she did not have a post graduate training in administration or any other business-related course.
She also has a 15-year experience, which dwarfs the 10-year experience that was required of applicants.
Ms Bamuturaki, however, indicated that she is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration at Makerere University.
She said that unlike other fields of work in Uganda, the aviation industry administration largely depends on one’s experience, and that she has vast experience in the industry and certificates from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This makes her fit for the job, she added.
“In aviation, IATA does not give you degrees. It gives diplomas or certificates. The certificates I have from IATA, if I put them together, they will come to a diploma but I have a degree. It does not matter whether I went to the moon or whether I did MDD, what matters is [whether] I have the skill, and I do,” Ms Bamuturaki told journalists in after the committee’s revelations.
Ms Bamuturaki referred critics to check with Board Members of the Uganda Airlines that appointed her.
Lawmakers have, however, vowed to push for action against her.
“How do you bring in a CEO who does not even have the experience or qualification to head a government agency with billions of taxpayers’ money in it,” Elgon County MP Gerald Nangoli said.
“As a country, we risk losing money. This is a disgrace to the government of Uganda and the taxpayer. This business of nepotism must stop.”
Ms Bamuturaki started as a country manager at Imperial Botanical Hotel in July 1995 and then moved to Sheraton Hotel between 1996 and 2000.
At Sheraton she served in several capacities, which include desk relations officer and sales manager.
She later joined the East African Airlines where she worked between September 2000 and September 2003, before joining a travel agency where she worked as a sales manager for a year.
Ms Bamuturaki also worked at Air Uganda’s commercial division between April 2007 and 2014.
She later returned to Sheraton Hotel as the Head of Sales and Marketing between 2014 and 2016, and thereafter joined the Golden Tulip Hotel where she served as the director of sales and marketing until 2019 before becoming the Uganda Airlines Commercial Director.
Ms Bamuturaki was, thereafter, appointed Chief Executive Officer at the Uganda Airlines.