There is fear of loss of jobs among Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) officials accused of hiring out the roads agency’s equipment to private individuals.
It is said that junior officials at UNRA hired out the equipment for private work without authorization from the top bosses.
UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina made the shocking revelation on Friday, noting that the suspects are being accorded a fair hearing and investigations into the matter are being conducted before action is taken.
She made the remarks during the handover of 16 trucks to be used in 16 districts for road maintenance.
The equipment worth Shs6bn included six water trucks and four cargo crane trucks. The Authority has 23 stations across the country. Kampala, Mpigi, Jinja, Mbale, Soroti, Masaka, Masindi, Kasese, Kabale, Mbarara, Moyo, Kotido and Arua are set to receive the new equipment.
“We have had an incidence of misuse of our road equipment and this is a disciplinary case. It is believed they (UNRA officials she didn’t want to reveal) got money and used UNRA equipment to do private work, yet our road network is wanting,” Kagina said.
She added: “If we protect the equipment, it will serve us well because our jobs are secure when equipment is looked after well. There is a station manager who hired out equipment and we are investigating. We might actually lose those people; I don’t want to lose you people.”
Sources says officials at Masindi station are the ones being investigated after the branch manger allegedly gave an order to junior staff to hire out the equipment.
The junior staff are being questioned for not alerting the UNRA bosses in Kampala after the unprofessional order.
Kagina said the new equipment will help solve the backlog of works, noting that UNRA is currently faced with more networks to work on than the available capacity to undertake the works.
“Ugandans aren’t interested in seeing UNRA with all this equipment, but they want good roads. So let us give them what they deserve. Let us give them a reason why they employ us,” Kagina said.