The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority was made to appear before the parliamentary public accounts committee to be subjected to scrutiny over the work scope, the expansion, and modernization of Entebbe International Airport ahead of the Commonwealth Summit in November 2007.
The representatives of the CAA took issue with the fact that they needed to borrow commercially in order to finance the work, in total some 71 billion Uganda shillings, while the government owed the institution some 68 billion Uganda shillings, for many years it must be said, of which in connection with CHOGM preparations, only 10 billion were repaid.
The outstanding amounts have long been a bone of contention between the CAA, an autonomous authority established in the early 1990s, and the government over outstanding and increasing dues, growing also by an unknown interest factor, as no creditor can afford to let debts stand without added interest to cover for inflationary trends and devaluation of home currency.
In the presentations given to parliamentarians and the answers provided, there was an ever-present plea to assist in recovering the amount owed by government to be able to pay back the loans sourced from commercial banks in Kampala.
Sources from within the committee blamed government for approving the loan and guaranteeing it without following proper procedure, claiming the matter was never brought before parliament, which according to the constitution of Uganda, has to approve every loan guarantee the government gives – BEFORE it is given.