By Spy Uganda
Kampala: President Museveni directed the Minster of Works and Transport Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala to disband the entire Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) Board and Managing Director, Stanley Sendegeya who he says is unqualified, inexperienced and was irregularly recruited as a result of influence by a board member Ben Twodo.
In a letter dated 3rd October 2022, the President also directed the prosecution of all people who participated in the purchase of four used locomotives at Ugx48 BN and those involved in the payment of Ugx 1.2BN to a law firm Kituuma Magala for purportedly representing URC.
It’s worth noting that last year, Hannington Karuhanga the Board Chairman for Uganda Railways Corporation revealed the saga which saw him sweat plasma before the Inspector General of Government (IGG) investigators who were at URC to inquire into the circumstances under which Sendegeya who lacked the required qualifications was recruited as CEO replacing Charles Kateeba.
The CEO job advert required a master’s degree as a minimum and 6 years of experience as a member of top management both of which Sendegeya lacked because he had been Chief Financial Officer at URC for 4 years as opposed to 6 which was required.
As part of the investigations, the IGG summoned and interrogated URC board members to explain themselves on the alleged conflict of interest. The Board Chairman Karuhanga had been grilled already and the same applied to Sendegeya and Mzee Ben Twodo who chairs the Human Resource Committee of the board and wanted the IGG to receive a joint explanation from Board members, a request which was rejected and the IGG insisted to interrogate each board member separately.
Some board members, who didn’t want Sendegeya to become the CEO told the IGG that the entire recruitment was messed up to favour Sendegeya which left her wondering why they gave the job to someone without a master’s degree and enough experience when there were other applicants like Eng. Reuben Tumwebaze who had worked in UNRA and Andrew Kilama Lajul from UCDA, Moses Mwase, Keen Twesigye, David Kapsunduamong others who were more than qualified.
Among other issues that the IGG probed into included the Shs34 Bn from Uganda National Roads Authority(UNRA) as compensation for the railway land in Nsambya that was encroached on during the construction of the flyover project. Some of these payments of legal fees were opposed by the Works Ministry based at Port Bell Road.
The same management was also involved in scandals of land grabbing whereby Sendegeya is accused of not doing enough with his godfather Ben Twodo which Minister Katumba condemned and called for investigations concerning URC land.
Prior to the sacking of the entire management, Katumba has been writing letters to Sendegeya asking him to investigate staff who mess up with URC land but the CEO hasn’t been very keen on this issue.
Apparently, Museveni can’t stand anyone messing up the railways because he wants the railway system quickly revamped and be used to transport heavy equipment to the Albertine region for the upcoming East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project (EACOP).
The President fears that because that petroleum equipment is very heavy, it can destroy all the roads which have cost trillions if it’s to be transported via road means.
It’s the reason why a lot of money has been borrowed to reinvest in Uganda Railway Corporation to enable it to spearhead the revamp of the railway transport especially between Kampala and Malaba and between Malaba and Gulu-all the way to Pakwach which is near the Albertine region which has the oil.