Roads authority boss Ssebanakitta resigns
Posted Tuesday, March 5 2013 at 02:00
He says he was not forced out and has opted to do something “less stressful, but more exciting”.
Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Executive Director, Eng. Peter Ssebanakitta, has resigned following months of acrimonious wrangling with a paralysed board.
Eng. Ssebanakitta last night confirmed he threw in the towel yesterday, but denied he was forced out as had been alleged.
“It was 100 per cent my decision. If anything, I am not sure if the appointing authority will be happy with my decision,” he said, adding: “I prefer to look at it [the exit] not as resignation but retirement – out of personal choice.”
His assurances seemed unlikely to take away suspicions of something ominous, particularly because he had late last year accepted a fresh five-year tenure sanctioned by Works Minister Abraham Byandala, a contract renewal the Authority’s board opposed.
Additionally, he is 57, three years younger than the mandatory retirement age for civil service in Uganda. The board had earlier recommended for Eng. Ssebanakitta’s removal on grounds of under-performance. In the drama following the power contest between the board and the line minister, Eng. Byandala was reported to have renewed, revoked and renewed again the UNRA boss’s mandate.
The minister last night claimed not to know anything about the resignation, even when other sources told this newspaper that he had chaired a crisis meeting over the matter at the Works headquarters on Portbell Road. “I [was] not in office [yesterday] to check in my trays and know what is what,” Eng. Byandala said by telephone
Our investigations show that Ssebanakitta earlier in the day wired an email to notify his senior colleagues about his decision to quit. “I have today informed the minister that I am retiring from my current position effective immediately, he noted, “Until the Minister makes a formal appointment, I have requested Eng. Ssebbugga Kimeze to carry out the day-to-day management of the office of the executive director.”
In yesterday telephone interview, Eng. Ssebanakitta said he intended to take on consultancy or business; something “less stressful, but more interesting”. He said he realised he had spent 34 years working for government, and decided to quit “because you reach a time in life when you should do something.” “That’s why I prefer to look at this as an early retirement, not resignation,” Eng. Ssebanakitta said, adding that roads had tremendously improved under his leadership.