Lawyer Nicholas Opiyo says UNRA executive director, Allen Kagina, has no authority to fire employees.
Kagina yesterday told press the roads authority had fired the entire 890 staff with immediate effect in a massive restructuring.
This was also contained in a statement issued by Angela Kiryabwire, the chairperson UNRA board of directors.
According to lawyer Opiyo, UNRA’s letter is a “mere intention to sack” yet Kagina has “no powers to sack employees”.
Yet in June, Kagina referred to a decision by the board and sacked 80 senior staff from UNRA.
“Allen Kagina has no power under the law to sack any employee of UNRA. She too is an employee,” the lawyer insisted.
He said the reported letter of termination was written by the Board.
“It is only the board that has powers to determine the condition of employment, retirement and deployment at UNRA. Under section 14 (2), the broad powers of the board is defined.”
Under section 21 of the UNRA Act, continues Opiyo, the employees of the authority are recruited by the board upon the advice of the Executive Director and have terms and conditions of employment.
“The UNRA letter of termination can only be treated as an intention to terminate not a termination in and of itself.”
He added: “To use this as a termination letter is to violate the law, is to act arbitrarily and unfairly to the employees of UNRA.”
If UNRA is intent on following the law as they say in their letter, they ought to look at the individual contracts and the terms therein, Opiyo advised.
Specifically, he said, they must look at the exit clauses in each contract of employment and comply with it.
“To do otherwise will attract a flood of litigation against the authority.”
However, Cissy Kagaba, the executive director of Anti-Corruption Coalition, says the move to sack all staff and start afresh was a good move by the authority.
Kagaba said people had lost hope in government entities but will now trust UNRA for the bold move taken.
She says other government departments should follow suit.
Meanwhile, appearing on NBS TV this morning, Opiyo was also sympathetic to the expelled special interest groups representatives from parliament.
Constitutional Court yesterday ruled that all representatives of special interest groups in parliament were illegally occupying the house.
Opiyo says government wants special interest groups to remain in parliament because they align with the ruling party i.e army & youth MPs.
“Government is most probably going to appeal. The Attorney General is likely to appeal to the Supreme Court,” he said.