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Sacked UNRA employees petition court, seek Shs 13bn

Unra executive director Allen Kagina

Over 150 former employees of Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) have petitioned High court seeking Shs 13bn in damages for what they claim was unfair dismissal.

The petitioners lost their jobs during the restructuring exercise last year. They are seeking leave of court to file a representative suit to avoid multiplicity of suits.

They want six of their colleagues; Lyndon Denis Kiyimba, Esther Alum, Jims Billy Asiimwe, Luciano Webare, Kenneth Muramyenta and Robert Byekwaso to represent them.

In a sworn affidavit in support of the representative suit, Lyndon Denis Kiyimba alleges that Unra collectively terminated their employment contracts on December 31, 2015 without notice; a move he says was unfair and unlawful.

He contends that the unlawful dismissal from their jobs has caused them suffer losses and that their sustenance and their families have been put in balance.

The petitioners claim that the dismissal has caused them embarrassment and made them unemployable within the country and abroad since they have been portrayed as ‘thieves’ and ‘corrupt’. They are seeking Shs 13bn in damages and as payment for the remainder of their contracts.
Deputy High court registrar, Alex Ajiji has set Monday next week to deliver his ruling on whether or not to allow the six employees can file a representative suit on behalf of the other sacked staff.

In September last year, while addressing the media in Kampala, then, newly appointed Unra executive director Allen Kagina announced that all the 890 staff had been fired by the board of directors except her in a bid to clean up the authority that had been tainted with allegations of corruption.

In a related development, the inspector general of government (IGG) Justice Irene Mulyagonja has instituted investigations into staff recruitment and procurement processes at Unra following a compliant by a whistleblower two weeks ago.

Kagina is accused of flouting the recruitment processes by handpicking several staff from her former workplace, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). The whistleblower also accuses the new management of unfairness and hostility against some suppliers and other contractors in favour of Chinese contractors.

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