Source: Parliament of the Republic of Uganda |

Uganda: ‘Move staff between projects to save costs’

The entity has also been advised to prioritise building and strengthening its internal human resource capacity by hiring competent personnel to enhance the department’s effectiveness

KAMPALA, Uganda, April 3, 2024/APO Group/ --

A Parliament Committee has advised the Uganda Electricity Company Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) to transition staff from completed to new projects rather than recruit new staff, in a bid to save time and money on recruitment and training.

The entity has also been advised to prioritise building and strengthening its internal human resource capacity by hiring competent personnel to enhance the department’s effectiveness.

The recommendations are contained in a report by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources which investigated alleged gross mismanagement at UETCL.

In a petition to Parliament, aggrieved former employees of the company called for halting of staff layoffs until a management review is sanctioned by Parliament, and also called for halting of procurement of KPMG to recruit company positions.

The Committee observed that completion or near completion of projects from which the petitioners’ remuneration was drawn, created a financial gap.

“This lack of funds for the continued payment of contractual remuneration for the staff resulted into the non-renewal of the petitioners’ contracts,” said Hon. Fredrick Angura (NRM, Tororo South County), who presented the report on behalf of the Committee.

He added that the use of an external consultant, KPMG, to carry out external recruitments was costly and presented no value for money when the company had a human resources department for the purpose.

“The Committee further recommends that UETCL expedites the review of the Human Resource Manual to guide future recruitments and promotions,” reads the report in part.

Hon. Jane Pacuto (NRM, Pakwach district) challenged the Committee’s position on the use of a human resource consultant to recruit staff for the company.

“We should not always look at costs. You would rather hire a consultant to procure personnel with the right qualities to take up the job. With a consultant, we are sure of independence and transparency in recruitment,” Pacuto said.

Sheema County South MP, Prof. Elijah Mushemeza tasked government to consider the recruitment and layoff concerns raised by the petitioners, to plan accordingly for the rationalisation process.

“People with qualification and skills should be given the opportunity to get employment in the system even after their contracts on a project expire. These are good practices we should take into the rationalisation process in the near future,” Mushemeza added.

Hon. Muwada Nkunyingi (NUP, Kyadondo County East) tasked government to take the services of the Industrial Court to all parts of the country in a bid for employers or employees to get adequate redress on labour petitions.

He noted that the court has only two judges out of the five expected to oversee it, and is stationed in Kampala yet it ought to serve the whole country.

“Most of the labour officers do not exist in some regions and for the regions where there are labour officers, their operational procedure and transaction is not regulated. Someone can lodge a complaint and it takes five to ten years without receiving attention,” Nkunyingi noted.

The Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, said the court is fully constituted with required judicial officers and that labour officers are stationed across the country including a Commissioner for Labour, and District Labour Officer.

“You have mentioned that some areas do not have labour officers so I am going to take it up with Ministry of Gender and make sure that is done. There are other remedies available because we have a Chief Magistrate at every district and Grade One Magistrate at every constituency,” said Kiryowa Kiwanuka.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.