KAMPALA – A section of Members of Parliament (MPs) has raised questions on the quality of the aircraft that Uganda is purchasing from Canada after tabling evidence that the prices being quoted by government is much lower than the prices of the said aircraft.
Government tabled a supplementary request seeking for UGX280,046,776,933 as down payment for the first phase of the two 2 Bombardier jets from Canada ahead of delivery of the aeroplanes for Uganda airlines.
The matter was raised by Mr Jonathan Odur (Erute South) during the consideration of the report by the Parliamentary Budget Committee on the supplementary request where he tasked the minister of Works and Transport, Ms. Monica Azuba to explain the variations of prices after reports that Uganda is bringing in second-hand aircraft.
Mr. Odur explained: “We are discussing the CJR900 Aircraft; I have done research, these aircrafts are listed and none are sold below USD34m, actually Rwanda ordered and paid about USD48m for each CRJ900. The only aircraft that falls within that range is the CRJ700 meaning that the aircraft we are buying is either an older model which is CRJ700 or it isn’t a brand new.”
“The Airbus 83800 goes for USD403m and here we have a document saying we are going to buy at USD108m. Can we proceed when the aircraft we are buying is in question and the figures applied here don’t tally?” Mr Odur further asked.
In her response, the minister said that the prices quoted on the manufacturer’s websites aren’t the last prices and that there is room for negotiations and thus her team need a handshake for negotiating a lower price.
Ms. Azuba explained: “When you go the website, you find the catalogue prices of all the aircrafts. One of the members said that is true we bout at lower price, those prices are there and there is room for negotiations. We negotiated actually, we should be congratulated.”