PAC to probe procurement of UPDF jet ranger helicopter spare parts

PAC to probe procurement of UPDF jet ranger helicopter spare parts
FILE PHOTO: Crashed UPDF jet Ranger AF302

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament will on February 5th start the probe into the procurement of spare parts for the Jet Ranger Aircraft that was last week involved in a crash.

On Tuesday, a Uganda People’s Defense Forces – UPDF Jet Ranger AF302 crashed during a training mission in Bulo in Gomba district killing two people; Maj. Naomi Karungi, a UPDF helicopter pilot and a cadet pilot Benon Wakalo.

Now sources from the Public Accounts Committee say that they want to find out if the irregularities in the procurement of the spare parts of the Aircraft is linked to the accident.

A subcommittee of PAC is expected to probe the supply of Jet Ranger Spare parts by YAMASEC Security Limited at a sum of 479,000 dollars (approximately 1.7 billion shillings) with no proof of delivery and with no receiving committee report. YAMASEC Security Limited is a Ugandan company that specializes in designing, installing, servicing and monitoring, technology driven security and fire safety solutions.

“The chopper crashed and therefore we want to find out if the crash was in anyway related to the irregularities in procurement since there is no evidence that the spare parts were delivered,” says a source in the committee. The source says the investigations arise from outstanding audit queries of the Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

This publication could not establish the details of the spare parts, and also the period when the procurement happened.

According to PAC documents this publication has seen, the committee will also probe Fuel supply by Hared Petroleum limited that was not acknowledged by the receiving committee in reference to Jet A unleaded fuel and Aviation gas worth 10.9 billion shillings.

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Brigadier Richard Karemire, the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) spokesperson who did not want to disclose much says they do not have any communication from the Public Accounts committee and that they are not aware of that.

The Bell Ranger was manufactured in 1967 by the Bell Helicopter Textron – USA for Close Air Support, Commercial Market, and Reconnaissance and Training.