The government reportedly hired Stream Aviation aircraft at a charter price of $75,000 per flight from December 2008 to January 2009.
A director of a United Arab Emirates-based aviation firm has asked the High Court to order the government to pay for chartered flights offered to the Ministry of Defence about three years ago.
Mr Haroun Eisa Sami, a director of Stream Aviation, told the High Court, Commercial Division in Kampala yesterday that the government hired his aircraft at a charter price of $75,000 per flight from December 2008 to January 2009.
“I made 38 chartered flights between Entebbe Airport and Dungo in Congo and Nzara in South Sudan for Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) amounting to $2,870,000,” Mr Sami told the court.
Mr Sami is the first witness in a case where the government is accused of failing and or neglecting to pay for the chartered flight services for the UPDF during the operation Lightning Thunder.
According to the court documents, the government has not paid the said money, arguing that it partly paid the sum claimed to one Barnabas Talemwa, an alleged authorised special commercial representative who received the payment allegedly on behalf of the complaint company.
“The purported powers of attorney upon which the defendant relied to make payments was not issued by the plaintiff company and were not notarized in United Arab Emirates, but were issued by a company called Stream Aviation incorporated in Uganda,” Mr Sami, told court.
He added that he was shocked to learn that the Ministry of Defence, which had accepted his offer as Stream Aviation FZC, had signed a memorandum of understanding on December 13, 2008 a day after accepting the offer.
Appearing before Justice Wilson Musene of the Commercial Division, Mr Sami denied connection with a company called Stream Aviation Limited, saying he has since demanded for proof of the alleged payment in vain.
“I sought justice from the court, however efforts to arbitrate the matter were frustrated by officers who refused to cooperate,” Mr Sami said.