By Mulengera Reporters
There are frantic efforts to get Posta Uganda MD James Arinaitwe out of the job he has held for the last 10 years. Indeed his 2nd five year contract expired in March this year and the appointment of the new BoD can simply signal end of game for Arinaitwe who ruled colleagues with an iron-fist.
Ironically Arinaitwe (against whom surbodinate staff have repeatedly been petitioning the IGG & Afande Nakalema) has always been leading a financially struggling organization. Yet on the eve of his departure, Finance Minister Matia Kasaijja says a whopping $400m has been earmarked to revamp the Postal Services in Uganda.
Kasaijja says the money will go into redevelopment of the company vast estate comprising of several buildings and undeveloped land accross the country. He says already a feasibility study is being undertaken to guide on the best interventions to be undertaken to revamp the company. But all these good things are going to come when the much-resented Arinaitwe is out of the company for which he so much worked.
PAST POSTA SCANDALS
In the numerous petitions to the IGG, the long-suffering staff have always highlighted areas of things not going well at Posta Uganda including the controversial outsourcing of the company’s bus services to an ill-fated company called Fort Express.
On failing to remit the monthly fee of Shs80m, Fort Express was forced to return the 10 company buses it had been leased amidst complaints that the Shs80m per month was even too little given the good state in which the buses were.
They were thrown out after accumulating Shs700m in arrears, a thing that fermented more hatred and pressure for Arinaitwe. It was replaced with another company called Double K Professional Drivers whose services too caused Arinaitwe to come under increased scrutiny.
He was criticized for being hostile to those critical of the ineptness with which the two companies operated.
In his 10 years as MD, Posta Uganda has lost over 100 employees who exited after protesting mistreatment by an MD who doesn’t tolerate criticism. Many would be arbitrarily transferred for questioning his views in meetings.
In one of his reports to Parliament, the Auditor General John Muwanga raised a red flag about the high staff turnover with an accusing finger going to Arinaitwe for being very draconian in his management style. The OAG also highlighted growing loss-making and declining profitability of the company that has so much assets, legacy and history to ride on to succeed.
The AG also highlighted the unpaid tax obligations that as of 2017 had grown to Shs4.5bn. This related to PAYE and VAT that would be deducted from source yet nothing would reach URA. Arinaitwe was also faulted for being indifferent about the requirement to operate in a manner that aligns all the entity’s plans towards the realization of the NDP II’s well stated goals and objectives.
On his part, Arinaitwe hasn’t been enthusiastic about being reminded to leave office even after expiry of his contract in March. The mother ICT Ministry PS Vincent Bagiire is optimistic the situation will normalize again now that the new BoD (whose tenure had expired in March 2018) has been appointed and recruiting a substantive MD will be their priority business.
The new BoD is chaired by ex-MP Suleiman Balyejusa Kirunda with eminent actors like Hussein Kashillingi and Lillian Aber being some of the new BoD members. These aren’t people Arinaitwe can easily intimidate because they have a history of closely working with President Museveni.
Other BoD members include Dorothy Telopecho Butuli, Richard Mwesiga & Herbert Kiggundu Mugerwa. The MD (whoever it will be) is also a member of the Posta Uganda Board. (For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755 or email us at email@example.com).