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UNRA suspends 17 workers for demanding pay

Some of the workers stranded after being sacked

Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA Kabale Branch has suspended 17 casual laborers until further notice for demanding their unpaid wages.

It comes a few days after about 100 casual laborers complained last week that they haven’t received their pay from March 2019. 

The affected laborers include masons and porters who earn Shillings 25,000 and 7000 each day. The laborers are entitled to payment at the end of each, according to the contract they signed with UNRA. 

Samuel Mwegamiire one of the affected laborers, says the Authority owes him Shillings 825,000. According to Mwegamiire, he had demanded for his payment in vain as UNRA officials keep bouncing him.

He however, says he was shocked on Wednesday when he was told by Engineer Augustine Kabale, the UNRA Kabale area Manager that he has been sacked until further notice for repeatedly demanding his pay to the extent of revealing his plight to the media.

Joseph Akatukunda, another affected worker wonders why they have been sacked for  trying to enforce their right to be paid.

Akatukunda accuses Kabanda of tyranny, adding he doesn’t see why they are being sacking for demanding for what rightfully belongs to them. 

Patrick Tugumisirize, another affected worker, says they were forced to speak out in the media after pushing for their pay in vain.

Tuhumisirize says that they are now stuck and don’t know when they will get their money after being sacked. 

Jonathan Niwandiinda, another affected worker  says he is unhappy to see the Authority backtracking on their contract.

However, Engineer Augustine Kabale, the UNRA Kabale area Manager, says the sacked workers had no reason complaining to the media since it is not the one to release their pay.

He also claims that the workers haven’t been sacked but they have only been suspended until when there is released.

Kabanda explains that UNRA can’t risk continuing working with disgruntled people because they may resort to illegal means such as siphoning fuel for survival.

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