• November 28, 2021
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Ignore baseless rumours! Civil aviation rubbishes claims of China taking over Entebbe Airport over loan

Ignore baseless rumours! Civil aviation rubbishes claims of China taking over Entebbe Airport over loan
Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA), has rubbished claims that China is likely to take over Entebbe International Airport after Uganda failed to service a loan from Exim Bank of China.

Last week, the media reported that China had rejected Uganda’s request to re-negotiate the clauses in the UGX 73billion loan which was acquired six years ago to expand Entebbe international Airport.

However, according to CAA’s Manager for Communications and Corporate Affairs John Vianney Luggya, the reports are baseless and false.

“We would like to make it categorically clear that the allegation that Entebbe International Airport has been given away for cash is false,” Luggya said in a statement.

“Government cannot give away a national asset like an international airport. We have said it before and repeat that it has not happened, and is not going to happen. There isn’t an ounce of truth in this, and it should be disregarded with the contempt it deserves.” he noted

Luggya further trashed reports that Exim Bank of China had taken over UCAA’s accounts, budgets and operations but confirmed that the Chinese lender was monitoring the aviation regulator’s account.

“It is true that Uganda Civil Aviation Authority opened up a Sales Collection Account in Stanbic Bank where all the Authority’s revenues are deposited in line with the Escrow Account Agreement terms, but it does not mean that anyone is to control our finances. The Authority enjoys the freedom and liberty of spending what is collected (as per the budget),” noted Luggya.

“The lender’s monitoring of the account is only similar to what happens when one gets a salary loan or any other loan for that matter, and the bank requests that the salary is channelled through their bank. It does not mean that lending bank takes over your salary.”

“The loan terms provide a grace period of seven years, and we are still within that grace period during which only interest is paid, and the government has not defaulted on those obligations,” he added.

In the same vein, the Chinese Embassy In Uganda dismissed the allegations saying the country has never taken over any properties in Africa.

“Which of the Chinese projects in Africa have been confiscated in Africa? NONE! The hype surrounding Chinese ‘debt trap’ in Africa have NO factual basis and is being pushed on malicious grounds”, said WuPeng the Director-General, Department of African Affairs, MoFA, China

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