Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA’s) director of human resources Jennifer Kaggwa says the authority still has 450 vacancies for Ugandans.
Among the positions for which UNRA is seeking suitably qualified Ugandans are financial auditors, measurement engineers, weighbridge controllers and road reserve enforcement officers.
The authority is also seeking for engineers for bridges, transport planners, procurement officers, officer works and supplies and investigation officers, land acquisition officers, administration officers, security officers, safeguard officers, monitoring officers, geotechnical engineers and GIS officers, among others.
UNRA in January this year placed adverts in local dailies inviting applications to fill a 1, 400 staff structure after firing all its employees except the executive director Allen Kagina. The authority conducted interviews and has so far recruited 950 people in various positions, according to Ms Kaggwa.
“For some positions, we never got applicants while in others we got applicants who did not meet the minimum requirements,” Ms Kaggwa told Parliament’s Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on Thursday.
For instance, she said in cases where the authority wanted road engineers; the minimum requirement was that the applicants must have registered with the Engineers’ Registration Board (ERB), a requirement some did not meet.
Earlier, Mr Vicent Woboya, the Member of Parliament of Budadiri East, questioned why UNRA had not shortlisted candidates for some positions.
To that, Ms Kaggwa said that initially UNRA was looking internally to find the staff – since priority is given to serving staff to apply first.
“But the board had increased the qualifications required for the different positions. So the people at that time did not meet the minimum requirements. In some cases, the positions were new,” she said.
Meanwhile, UNRA executive director Ms Allen Kagina said UNRA delegated some of its procurement processes to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) – an institution she once headed – and Kampala Capital City Authority, which one of her former URA colleagues, Jennifer Musisi, now heads.
She said UNRA did this because it was still building its procurement capacity.
COSASE vice chairperson Anita Among and Bunyole MP Moses Musamba had questioned why URA relied on KCCA and URA to carry out some of its procurements.
“Under what authorisation were KCCA and URA doing procurement for URA? Was that a board decision or a personal decision [to engage the services of KCCA and URA]?” posed Ms Among.
Ms Kagina said KCCA was procuring for civil works while URA was handling procurement of supply of goods and services and that the UNRA board had approved them.
“We found that KCCA handles similar procurement – procurement for civil works whereas URA handles supply of goods and services,” Ms Kagina said.
Early this month, the Inspectorate of Government started an investigation into UNRA staff recruitment.
That came against the backdrop of a petition by some individuals who claim the process is not transparent.