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Whistleblower raises red flag on UNRA recruitments

UNRA officials appear before parliament’s COSASE committee.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A whistleblower has petitioned Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) over anomalies in the recruitment of staff at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA). The Whistleblower alleges that the process is unfair and discriminative.

Committee Chairperson Mubarak Munyagwa says that his committee had information that a number of individuals were recruited for key positions under the guise of headhunting, even when they are not adequately experienced.

The practice of Headhunting, also known as Executive Search in Human Resource Management, involves identifying highly-skilled and hard-to-find candidates to fill jobs in an organization. It is usually undertaken to enable the organization to find key people at the management and specialist level with very specific personal and professional skills.

But according to Munyagwa, a number of people obtained specialist jobs at UNRA, even when they did not have any speciality that would give them a niche to take up the jobs.

Speaking during an interface with a team of UNRA officials at Parliament yesterday, Munyagwa said many of the head-hunted staffs are inexperienced while others have a dented record from previous employment engagements.

UNRA’s Director Human Resource Jennifer Kaggwa defended the practice of headhunting for staff as a normal recruitment procedure and noted that in all instances of headhunting approval from the Authority Board is sought. But she was tasked to explain the conditions that warrant headhunting.

Committee members equally tasked the authority officials to explain what would encourage the Authority to headhunt officers who were previously interdicted from Local Governments. According to COSASE Vice Chairperson Ibrahim Kasozi, it would be irregular for an institution to headhunt unqualified people leaving qualified Ugandans out.

The committee asked UNRA Executive Director Allen Kagina to present a comprehensive report on staff recruitment and restructuring process for review, as part of the investigation.

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