Posta to sack 100 employees Yasiin Mugerwa

Friday February 19 2010

IN TROUBLE: The Posta Uganda building on

IN TROUBLE: The Posta Uganda building on Kampala road. PHOTO BY ISAAC KASAMANI  

By Yasin Mugerwa

Kampala
Posta Uganda wants to sack 100 of its employees — around one quarter of its entire workforce.

The move was aimed at making the government parastatal more efficient, the company’s two top bosses yesterday told a watchdog committee of MPs.

News of the planned shake-up came as it was revealed the company was sinking beneath estimated debts of Shs12 billion and lacked working capital.

The MPs were also told that a further Shs2.2 billion given to Posta cannot be accounted for, in addition to the Shs2.3 billion already known to be missing.

Revealing the planned staff restructuring, Posta chairman Eng. Proscovia Njuki said the company needed a further Shs1.4billion from the government to pay terminal benefits.

It also emerged that O and A’ level graduates, were employed by Posta in senior positions.

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Their abilities have been questioned by the parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises.

A staff list submitted to the committee shows that, Mr Robert Twesigye with a Masters Degree in Economic Policy and Management is a post manager serving in the same position as Ms Juliet Komuhendo with A’level and Mr Duhimbaze with O’level qualifications.

Also various post officers and supervisors with degrees and diplomas man similar positions with other officers with O and A’ level qualifications. For instance, Ms Dinah Irutu with a Bachelors Degree in Arts is a sorter serving in a similar position with Sadiki Kabiito whose qualification is listed as Senior Two, while Ms Eunice Kansiime with A’level, is a post officer.

Other post managers include; Mr Vincent M. Acoroi, Ms Phoebe Aceng and Milton Odria with O’ level. Mercy Matende, Benedict Opegu and Robert Asede with A’level while Ms Hellen Akiding with a Bachelor of Arts is a receptionist.

The revelation could raise eyebrows given the fact that people with higher education qualifications are kept in lower positions —in an apparent mismatch that could bring discontent among staff and affect service delivery.
Asked how the O and A’ level personnel were recruited, Eng. Njuki said: “This is the system we inherited and for us as a new board, we are trying to restructure so that we can make the company efficient. These challenges have also puzzled us for a long time, but we take these concerns seriously.”
On how Posta Uganda pays these O and A’level staff vis-à-vis their colleagues with degrees yet they are in similar positions, Posta Managing Director James Arinaitwe said: “The salary structure is personal to holder.”

On the planned restructuring exercise, Eng. Njuki said: “We have taken a decision to restructure Posta Uganda so as to attract competent staff. We need about Shs1.4 billion for their terminal benefits.”

The company directors led by Eng. Njuki and Arinaitwe were on Thursday appearing before MPs to discuss the way forward on reports that the company was sinking into huge debts with no working capital.

But the MPs on the committee chaired by Mr Reagan Okumu (FDC, Aswa) demanded that the O and A’ level staff currently manning superior positions be sacked and qualified managers be recruited.

“Having such people in managerial positions is the main reason why there are serious accountability problems,” he said.

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