Entebbe International Airport has not been morgaged to China according to the national aviation regulator ,the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA).
“We would like to make it categorically clear that the allegation that Entebbe International Airport has been given away for cash is false. Government cannot give away a national asset like an international airport, Mr. Vianney Luggya the spokesperson of CAA stated .
“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,” LLuggya added. The CAA’s clarification collaborates an earlier statement which was issued by the Chinese government which dismissed as “illogical propaganda” reports that they are confiscating facilities from African states because of indebtedness.
The China Director-General for African Affairs Wu Peng, said in a statement that money offered to African states for projects is not a debt trap as has been reported by people seeking to put China in a bad light. China is the biggest lender to African economies, sinking a staggering $150billion in different African economies through its Belt and Road Initiative.
“Which of the Chinese projects in Africa have been confiscated in Africa? NONE! The hype surrounding the Chinese ‘debt trap’ in Africa have NO factual basis and is being pushed on malicious grounds”, Peng said.
In Entebbe, Mr. Luggya explained thus ; “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).”
He said that China’s ( lender’s) monitoring of the CCA 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 channeled through their bank. It does not mean that lending bank takes over your salary.
Luggya said that the loan terms provide a grace period of 7 years, and that Uganda is still within that grace period during which only interest is paid, and government has not defaulted on those obligations.
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