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UNRA on spot over irregular staffing

By Nicholas Wassajja, Lisa Nsaba

Added 28th June 2019 12:40 PM

The matter came to the fore yesterday during an interface between COSASE and UNRA officials to respond to accountability queries raised by the Auditor General (AG), John Muwanga in 2016.

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The UNRA executive director, Allen Kagina explained that head hunting is a normal recruitment process provided for and approved in the institute’s Human Resource manual. (File Photo)

The matter came to the fore yesterday during an interface between COSASE and UNRA officials to respond to accountability queries raised by the Auditor General (AG), John Muwanga in 2016.

KAMPALA-Members on the committee of commissions, statutory authorities and state enterprises have queried Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) over allegations of irregular recruitment of staff.

According to the committee chairperson, Mubaraka Munyagwa (Kawempe South), Parliament has received a petition from a concerned whistleblower, “complaining about the headhunting process at your place (UNRA) which has filled the institution with a lot of unskilled people.”

The matter came to the fore yesterday during an interface between COSASE and UNRA officials to respond to accountability queries raised by the Auditor General (AG), John Muwanga in 2016.

Headhunting is a process of recruitment of a prospective employee, who is working elsewhere and who has relevant work experience for a particular job profile according to sources online.

The UNRA executive director, Allen Kagina explained that head hunting is a normal recruitment process provided for and approved in the institute’s Human Resource manual.

“UNRA has a human resource department that adheres to legalized processes of recruitment but because we note the matter with concern, we have requested the director human resource to compile the report on staff restructuring including those that were headhunted that we shall furnish this committee within due course for scrutiny,” said Kagina.

However, Munyagwa said the process doesn’t give opportunity to qualified Ugandans to compete for the job.

David Abala (Ngora County) expressed shock that the said flawed process left out competent personal element of one’s ability while recruiting. He added the process left out many Ugandans.

“This institution belongs to all of us as Ugandans, this process leaves out many qualified Ugandans,” Abala said.

Without revealing names, the Makindye East MP, Ibrahim Kasozi claimed that he is aware that some of the UNRA technocrats handling major infrastructure development projects don’t have the required qualifications and necessary competence.

In his report, Muwanga said that although in 2015, the UNRA board had approved the recruitment of 1,740 staff the finance ministry provided funding for 1,400 employees, the restructuring filled only 1,021 positions.

He said that the management acknowledged the staffing gaps and explained that so far three recruitment phases had been undertaken to fill the gaps.

“Staffing gaps lead to work overload and affect employee morale,” he noted in his report.

The lawmakers asked the team if they had recruited more people to fill all the positions.

Jennifer Kagwa, the Director Human Resource UNRA told the committee that UNRA has been recruiting since 2016 and only 80 positions are left to fill.

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