Fresh fight erupts over KCCA staff recruitment

Saturday June 15 2019

 Kampala Capital City Authority law enfo

Kampala Capital City Authority law enforcement officers attend a meeting in Kampala last year. PHOTO BY ALEX ESAGALA 

By AMOS NGWOMOYA

Barely one week after Kampala Capital City Authority’s (KCCA) human resource directorate internally advertised at least 200 jobs, a new fight has erupted within the institution, with some staff protesting the criteria of recruitment, Saturday Monitor has learnt.
The advert was sent to all staff on June 6 followed a directive from the Public Service Commission (PSC) chairperson, Justice Ralph Ochan on April 18, that all vacant jobs be advertised.

However, a section of staff have petitioned the same Commission expressing dissatisfaction over the recruitment, accusing the human resource director, Mr Richard Lule, of manipulating the process to “favour specific individuals”.
In a June 10 letter, a copy which this newspaper has seen, the petitioners told Justice Ochan that while recruitment at KCCA is supposed to be done through the PSC, management has overlooked it and instead taken over the exercise without regard to procedure and legal implications.

They also allege that at least 80 per cent of KCCA Staff have been previously handpicked and recruited internally without following due processes in regard to minimum qualifications and experience for various jobs.
“…the result has been recruitment of relatives, incompetent and unqualified personnel in all directorates even at directorship level. Consequently, these staff couldn’t fit within the original structure of the organisation if jobs were advertised for hire,” the petition reads in part.
The petitioners argue that handpicking individuals has led to duplication of jobs, something they fear could affect performance.
“Such manipulation of job descriptions and personal specifications in the job advert of June 6 has been tailor-made to keep individuals on acting roles which should be based on technical competence. This has caused a lot of loss in morale and dissatisfaction among staff,” the letter adds.

The letter is also copied to the Secretary of PSC, Inspector General of Government (IGG), Solicitor General, and the Auditor General.
The petitioners further accuse Mr Lule of opening up the advert to temporary staff yet internal adverts are promotional in nature where one must be a permanent staff appointed under a minute of an appropriate appointing authority.

“…in this case, the internal advert has been opened up to temporary staff who were not appointed by the appropriate appointing authorities making their appointments null and void and therefore cannot be eligible to apply. This is irregular and violates the Public Service Standing Orders and procedures,” they wrote.

KCCA has at least 700 temporary staff who joined the institution under unclear circumstances. This has since created debate among the public on how KCCA flouts laws.

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Our repeated attempts to speak to Mr Lulue to respond to the allegations against him were unsuccessful as his known mobile phone contacts were inaccessible.

But KCCA spokesman Peter Kaujju declined to explain why Mr Lule forwarded names of some staff to PSC for promotion without subjecting the same positions for internal competition just as was the case with the 200 jobs that were internally advertised.

More irregularities
This newspaper has further learnt that while all jobs were supposed to be internally advertised to allow officers compete for them, Mr Lule allegedly sneaked a list of at least 15 staff to PSC ahead of the advert for promotion to the chagrin of other staff who had interest in the ring-fenced jobs.

Documents Daily Monitor has seen indicate that Mr Lule sent an e-mail to the officers individually without knowledge of other staff members.

The staff currently work as officers, managers and acting directors but Mr Lule wants them promoted to supervisors, deputy directors and directors respectively.

This has attracted protest from staff who are now threatening to sue the institution if the list of the 15 staff is not withdrawn from PSC.

The officers include Julius Kabugo, Martin Sekajja, Ronald Mayambala, Janet Luzinda, Okello Opio, Jacob Byamukama, Vincent Joseph Kirimanyi, Caleb Mugisha, Doreen Akatuhwera Tiberonda, Ezra Ssebuwufu, Norbert Sseruwagi, Oundo Christopher, Simon Isaiah Chebrot, and Richard Walex Walyomo.

On January 29 2018, PSC rejected the KCCA officials who had been recommended for promotion by former executive director Jennifer Musisi.

The PSC declined to appoint the directors on grounds that Ms Musisi had not submitted critical details of the proposed employees as per the Uganda Public Service standing orders.

No communication
For instance, PSC noted that there was no communication from the authority’s council recommending the same officers for promotion. The blocked officers have since been holding their current offices in acting capacity.
Some of the officials who were rejected in 2018 and again been forwarded to PSC for promotion include Mr Kabugo, Mr Sekajja and Ms Luzinda.

Mr Kabugo is currently the acting director of treasury services and seeks to be promoted to full director, Mr Sekajja is the acting deputy director of information systems and wants to be elevated to full deputy director while Ms Luzinda, who is the acting deputy director human resource, wants to be promoted to full deputy director.
Mr Lule’s term as KCCA’s director of human resource will expire in November. He was appointed in November 2016 by President Museveni.

Public service , KCCA respond

The Public Service Commission (PSC) chairperson, Justice Ralph Ochan, said: “We met KCCA officials and many issues were brought to our attention by the dissatisfied staff. We also met the Lord Mayor and the Kampala minister to discuss the same matter. We shall pronounce ourselves on this matter on Monday.”
Accusations. Our sources intimidated to us that tempers flared during the meeting as some staff accused the human resource directorate of employing people on temporary terms yet they were incompetent for the jobs. However, KCCA spokesman Peter Kaujju said the meeting was about regularising temporary staff. He added that the exercise will take three months. Asked about why only 200 jobs were advertised yet there are at least 700 temporary staff, Mr Kaujju revealed that the recruitment will be done in phases.

angwomoya@ug.nationmedia.com

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