The Speaker of Parliament Hon. Anita Among has ordered the formation of a select committee to investigate claims of corruption and infighting within the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
While presiding over a heated house on January 19th, 2023, Speaker Among revealed she is naming a separate committee of five to investigate the ongoing saga at NSSF, which she said will be launched on Monday next week.
Hon. Among asserted that the move to form a select committee to investigate allegations of mismanagement at NSSF was informed by the need to restore sanity and public faith in the organization.
“We need to restore public faith in NSSF, on Monday I will announce the names of the 5 members of the select committee,” Hon. Among announced.
Parliament on Thursday got elaborate revelations from the Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development Hon. Betty Amongi on NSSF matters, in which she asserted that much as there are serious concerns to be looked into, workers’ savings are in a safe custody.
Minister Amongi labored so much to allay public worry over workers’ savings in which she explained that monies at NSSF were not mismanaged under mysterious circumstances as it is alleged.
She also clarified that public savings with NSSF heightened to greater levels from June to December 2022, with more than UGX. 700 billion deposited, and that out of 17 million workers, only 1.5 million save with NSSF.
“Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development is in charge of supervision and operational matters, while safety of investments and savings is a mandate of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development,” said Hon. Amongi, and added; “In our various engagements with the management of the funds, and during our recent meeting with the committee of finance, planning and economic development, it has been repeatedly stated that members funds are safe.”
She revealed that the decision on whether or not to renew the contract for the embattled NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba will be decided after the climax of the ongoing investigations that are being overseen by the Inspector General of Government (IGG) and other anti corruption committees, something she said is likely to take a period of two months.
Hon. Amongi also noted that Byarugaba is no longer in office, and that he was instructed to step aside until the probe into the alleged mismanagement is finalized.
“And I want to state here that Richard Byarugaba was in state house on 22nd when that decision was made. The decision that since there are petitions, let the petitions be referred for investigation, and let him stay out of office as per the legal framework that when you are being investigated, you stay out of office but the position should not be advertised or filled until the investigation is concluded,” Hon. Amongi further stated.
It should be recalled that Mr. Byarugaba already hit 60 years age of retirement, but there were deliberations to extend the retirement age cap and renew his contract.
Hon. Among further clarified that petitions to investigate corruption and infighting within the NSSF were forwarded to the President and the national coordinator for Operation Wealth Creation, something which informed the ongoing investigations.
However, parliamentary proceedings took a dramatic shift following a heated debate during which Hon. Amongi was grilled over claims that she piled pressure on the beleaguered NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba to give her UGX.6 billion for her activities to promote the Fund.
In defence, Hon. Amongi said she wanted UGX.6 billion set aside within the NSSF’s operational budget to support efforts to mobilize various associations, industrial parks and diaspora to contribute to the Fund.
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