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The UCAA finally speaks out about airport employees who demand money from underprivileged Ugandans traveling abroad.

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Cases of Ugandans flying overseas being coerced into paying bribes to dishonest agents at Entebbe International Airport have been referred to as “regrettable” by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority.

Over the past week, a number of people have come forward, mainly on the video platform TikTok, to discuss claimed incidents in which they were allegedly had to pay substantial quantities of money before they were allowed to board a flight.






Others stated that they missed their flights despite having all the required travel documentation, such as a passport, visa, airline ticket, and vaccination records, because they were unable to raise the aforementioned funds.

‘I’m too young to fly,’ a woman stated as she gave me a look. I begged her to confirm the date of birth listed on my passport, but she wouldn’t budge, one user said.



One Don MC, another Twitter user, claimed to have missed a flight because he declined to pay a $1000 bribe.




This morning, UCCA released a statement stating that it does not “condone such activities” and that such instances were “very unfortunate and unacceptable” when they did occur.



The Authority clarified, however, that numerous individuals from various agencies, in addition to their own employees, work in the airport. These individuals come from the Ministry of Immigration, handling agents (NAS and DAS), airlines, the Ministry of Health through port health, security organizations, URA customs, and the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (agents for labor externalization), among other organizations.

“It is important for the public to know that while UCAA facilitates operations at Entebbe International Airport, this is done in liaison with several independent providers of key services, including, but not limited to Immigration, handling agents (NAS and DAS), airlines, Ministry of Health through port health, Security agencies, URA customs, and Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development (Labor externalization agents), among others”. Reads part of the statement

The claimants were criticized by the Authority, on the other hand, for neglecting to name individual corrupt airport employees in their social media posts.

According to the Authority, none of the recordings that have been shared this week “clearly mentions a particular check point, time, day, and flight specifics of when the alleged extortion may have taken place.”

“Unfortunately, none of the regurgitated trending videos specifically states a particular check point, time, day and flight details of when the alleged extortion may have taken place. This would help the investigations. We are contacting the parties in the tik-tok videos to share with us information that can guide us to take quick action. In the past, we have investigated similar generalized claims made on Tik-tok, but unfortunately no specific information was established to corroborate the claims”. Said UCAA






However, it was advised that anyone traveling via Entebbe International Airport should avoid being coerced or seduced into paying money to any staff members they interact with (from any agency).

“The Authority urges the travelling public not to be compelled or lured into paying money to any staff they interface with (from whichever agency) in the course of travel through Entebbe International Airport. Please immediately report any case(s) of extortion in exchange for favors, including cases where the passenger has already left the airport. Please contact the following senior officials for immediate assistance”. UCAA urged



 







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