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Museveni’s old plane sold for $10m

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th February 2010 03:00 AM

THE old presidential jet, the Gulfstream IV SP, purchased 10 years ago at sh60b, has been sold for sh20b, MPs heard yesterday.

THE old presidential jet, the Gulfstream IV SP, purchased 10 years ago at sh60b, has been sold for sh20b, MPs heard yesterday.

By Madinah Tebajjukira

THE old presidential jet, the Gulfstream IV SP, purchased 10 years ago at sh60b, has been sold for sh20b, MPs heard yesterday.

Appearing before the presidential affairs committee yesterday, State House comptroller Richard Muhinda said the jet was sold in America last December for $10m.

He explained that the Government identified an American company, Mike Ellis, to sell the aircraft on behalf of the Government.

According to Muhinda, this was a good deal because there are 66 aircraft of the same make on the market which have not yet found a buyer.

“This is a good deal, especially with the economic meltdown. Moreover, the President no longer uses two aircraft,” Muhinda said.

Mike Ellis specializes in aircraft transactions. It has more than 50 years experience in aircraft sales and completed over 1,000 transactions.

Muhinda did not reveal who bought the Ugandan aircraft but only said it was sold in America under competitive bidding.

“We were silent about the aircraft because we did not want to prejudice the sale. It was sold in the United States after stiff competition with other companies.”

Last year, Muhinda told legislators on the public accounts committee that the jet would be sold at $24m (sh48b) to pave way for the purchase of a new jet.

Last year, the President acquired a new Gulfstream V plane at $48m (sh96b) despite protests from the opposition.

Asked whether the proceeds from the old jet would be used to service the loan from the Bank of Uganda to purchase the new jet, Muhinda said public funds follow a lot of procedures before they are allocated to a certain project.

He also suggested that the loan should be transferred to the Ministry of Finance so that it is financed as a public debt.

He appeared before the committee together with the minister in charge of the presidency, Beatrice Wabudeya, to defend the supplementary budgets of sh18.5b for State House and almost sh6b for the Office of the President.

Wabudeya told the committee, chaired by Gerald Menhya (NRM), that the supplementary budget for the Office of the President would be used to counter terrorism threats.

“We have increased threats of terrorism from Al-Shabab and al-Qaeda because of our support in Somalia. We are a target, so we have to beef up security,” she said.

Part of the money, Wabudeya said, would also be used to purchase medals to award to excelling civilians on May 1 and to implement the President’s manifesto.

The extra budget for State House is needed to support senior citizens identified by the President to go for treatment abroad and to finance State House scholarships, she explained.

The rest would be used for burial donations and to maintain State House Entebbe.

Museveni’s old plane sold for $10m

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