Uganda: “UNRA had become a den of thieves” says Kagina (new Executive Director of UNRA)
The newly appointed Executive Director of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), Ms Allen Kagina says one of her immediate tasks is to change the image of the roads authority which is has been dented by corruption related allegations.
According to Ms Kagina, lack of proper accountability and poor management has been one of the biggest challenge the road prefect (UNRA) is grappling with.
“Things will now be done in an open manner because lack of accountability breeds corruption. The problem with most institutions in Uganda is that there are few bad people who do bad things which end up damaging the image of the entire institution and this is what was happening here (UNRA),” she said.
She made the remarks on Tuesday during her maiden press conference where she outlined her priorities as she assumes her new role.
She says fighting corruption in the authority will be her top priority in her first year in office and she will start by investigating all corruption cases in her docket, with major focus on the procurement process in the roads authority.
Ms Kagina further noted that she will critically look into audit reports- both internal and external- to see that culprits implicated in graft are decisively dealt with. This will also include screening all employees during her first month in office so as to identify gaps that need to be addressed.
She also warned those managing weigh bridges to ensure that corruption is done away with before adding, “I will ensure thorough supervision during road construction works to see that the country gets the roads the government pays for.”
However, she appealed to the ministry of finance to ensure timely disbursement of funds to ensure timely delivery of services.
While addressing people at a thanksgiving for First Deputy Prime Minister Henry Muganwa Kajura at Hoima Boma grounds in Hoima district recently, President Museveni said he had appointed Ms Allen Kagina to head UNRA because it had become a den of thieves.
“She is saved. She did good work at URA. Let us wait and see how she will perform,” Mr Museveni said.
Ms Kagina, who is lauded for reducing corruption at URA and repairing the image of the tax body, was appointed last week to the roads agency, a department with a big budget but often criticised for harbouring corrupt tendencies.