Tayebwa Demands Report on Entebbe Airport Extortion Claims

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament has directed the Minister of Works and Transport and Internal Affairs to present a joint statement regarding allegations of extortion and bribery at Entebbe International Airport. 

Thomas Tayebwa made the directive on Tuesday during the plenary sitting.

He directed that the Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, and his counterpart for Internal Affairs, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire presents the joint statement on Tuesday. 

Last week, social media was awash with allegations from travelers who claim that some immigration officers are demanding bribes before clearing them to take flights.

Tayebwa commended the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for admitting to several illegalities at Entebbe Airport but questioned the action taken against the culprits. Tayebwa said that the dismissal of the culprits, whom he described as criminals, only gives them chance to apply for jobs elsewhere and transmit the vice.

He tasked the Government Chief Whip, Denis Hamson Obua to coordinate with the Ministers to ensure that the situation is handled.

 “You know when you go to other countries, the people manning immigration centers are usually people from the police, but when you pick strangers from nowhere who don’t know that charging a criminal five thousand dollars and he enters into the country and bombs a school, church or public place, we end up losing much more,” said Tayebwa.

Following the complaints, all staff at the airport will be required to wear their name tags for easy identification. UCAA also re-instated a 2021 directive to the airport staff banning the use of personal mobile phones while on duty.

On Friday, UCAA Deputy Director General, Olive Birungi Lumonya said that one of their staff suspected to be involved in extortion had been arrested after a video recording showing him bargaining for a bribe went viral on social media.

Lumonya also said that since 2020, 26 staff operating at the Airport have been terminated, suspended and others subjected to other disciplinary measures. 

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