The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has launched investigations into allegations that the executive director of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Allen Kagina laid off all the staff and started hiring her relatives and allies as soon as she assumed office last year.
Justice Irene Mulyagonja is reportedly investigating claims that top jobs advertised at the UNRA have been given to allies, relatives and friends of Kagina.
The investigations follow a petition submitted by a whistle-blower in August to the IGG in which it is alleged that Kagina was recruiting close friends she worked with at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), many of who come from her region.
One of the new recruits, Ms Mary Kutesa, who is director of the legal directorate, announced that UNRA plans to increase staff from the current 1,400 to 1,800 to absorb some of the 4,000 candidates who were interviewed for jobs at UNRA.
On September 29, 2015, Kagina announced that the entire staff of the organisation had been summarily dismissed which according to the whistle blower was in violation of Uganda’s labour laws and in total disregard of the International Labour Organisation standards to which Uganda is a party.
In September last year, Kagina said the sacking of the entire staff of UNRA was the climax of a massive restructuring exercise which began with her appointment as executive director of UNRA in April 2015.
According to an official statement, “the board of directors, in a bid to make UNRA a fit-for-purpose authority, has embarked on a comprehensive restructuring and has, with immediate effect, resolved to disband the entire staff of the establishment.”
Board chairperson Angela Kiryabwire Kanyima then assured outgoing UNRA staff that when recruiting new staff, priority would be given to suitable outgoing staff who should reapply before end of December 2015.
As a result of the rot which a judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of mismanagement, abuse of office and corrupt practices in UNRA has unearthed, many Ugandans welcomed the drastic action taken by the UNRA board.