Road fund boss suspended over alleged abuse of office

A power struggle has emerged at the Uganda Road Fund (URF)pitting the executive director against the Board. As a result the executive director, Eng. Dr. Michael Odongo has been suspended from office over misuse of funds, unsatisfactory performance, insubordination and unauthorized absence from work.

Odongo who has been at the helm of the institution for many years, was suspended from office by the Fund management board for three months,pending investigation into the allegations. The URF is a government body charged with collecting Road User Charges (RUCs) and managing the funds so collected to finance public road maintenance programmes.

 It became operational in January 2010. The fund is functionally supervised by minister. In suspension letter dated December 5, 2018; the chairperson Uganda Road Management Fund (URMF) Merian Sebunya gave Odongo a deadline of two days to handover office to Eng. Kagoda.

“You are directed to hand over office not later than December 7, 2018 to Eng. Andrew Kagoda who will execute the functions in acting capacity during your suspension. The board will provide you with a fair hearing upon completion of investigations into the mentioned acts of misconduct/ very serious offences,” Sebunya wrote.

But in a twist of events, before handing over the office finance minister Kashaija wrote on Thursday turned the gun on the board and directed Sebunya to stop handling the issues of the Fund pending investigations.

 Kashaija directive came day after the IGG requested the Minister to suspend the board to allow uninterrupted investigations into the alleged appalling governance at the Fund by the board.

“I am in receipt of a directive from IGG to take action to enable them carry out investigation of allegations of the management of the fund. This is to direct you to desist from any action that affects the governance of the Fund until further directive from myself” Kashaija wrote.

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Lukwago Joseph grew up in a newspaper family, and rumor has it that instead of playing the guitar in his infancy, his parents put a reporter’s notebook and a pen next to him shortly after he turned born eight years. Before becoming editor of UGANDANZ, Lukwago was a parliament news editor for WBS TV. He joined UGANDANZ in July 2018, A few months after the company launched. Lukwago also spent five years as a freelance reporter, where he covered reporting for the highest bidder, intelligence, foreign policy, and Ugandan police. Lukwago graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism and worked on his college newspaper.