The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has come under scrutiny following the formalized sacking of the former head of procurement department Matthias Ofumbi, and the ‘surprising’ retention of William Tumwine, a legal officer heading the UNRA Policy and Rulings department in the legal directorate.
The two senior officials, ‘survivors’ of the 800-plus employee purge initiated by the UNRA Board of Directors and Executive Director Allen Kagina, when the latter assumed office in 2015, were suspended for one month each in July last year on accusations of ‘massively messing up’ their respective departments.
However, in what sources have described as ‘surprising’, Tumwine, who came to the limelight after being found with about 70 land titles in his house during the one-month suspension, was retained on his job, while Ofumbi, who was also on a one-month suspension pending investigations into the procurement activities at UNRA was sent packing allegedly for ‘indiscipline’ and his post advertised.
“It is quite surprising that Tumwine was cleared and Ofumbi sacked; foe purposes of transparency both men should either have been fired altogether or retained,” said a senior official at UNRA, on condition of anonymity.
It is not clear which of the numerous scams at UNRA caused the suspension of the two senior officials, but fingers are pointing at Mukono-Katosi and the Mbale-Tirinyi roads in which government has collectively lost billions of shillings through fraudulent schemes and dubious procurement processes.
Since inception UNRA has been bedeviled by allegations of corruption, with one report indicating the roads authority had lost close to Shs4 trillion over the years, money experts said was enough to construct about 4, 500 kilometres of roads.