IGG clears Byarugaba over Shs5b retirees’ cash

Mr Richard Byarugaba

What you need to know:

  • IGG Beti Kamya’s decision followed an appeal by Mr Byarugaba who, in a July 13 letter, said he was innocent.

The Inspector General of Government (IGG), Ms Beti Kamya, has absolved the former managing director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Mr Richard Byarugaba, of illegally approval of a Shs5 billion payment to two board members and staff who retired voluntarily.

Ms Kamya, who had earlier this year ordered Mr Byarugaba and the chief financial office Henry Mwanje to refund the money, has in the latest development asked the Fund to go ahead and use the directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policy to recover the money within six months.

In her September 20 letter, Ms Kamya said Mr Byarugaba became an ex-officio member of the Fund’s board of directors by operation of the law, upon amendment of the NSSF Act in 2022, so whatever he was implementing was in accordance with the board’s decisions.

“Richard Byarugaba implemented the two board decisions as a principal signatory to the Fund together with the CFO, Mwanje, by authorising payment of a total of Shs5.08 billion as compensation to two board members that exited and staff who retired from NSSF under the voluntary retirement scheme,” the letter said.

The inspectorate added: “It is, therefore, reasonable to say that both Byarugaba and Mwanje, were implementing decisions of the board. The board, on their part, were driven by the need to operationalise an amendment of the NSSF Act of 2022 and the consultant’s (Deloitte and Touche) recommendation to downsize the staff levels for improved performance.”

The Mbarara South MP, Mr Mwine Mpaka, who chaired the parliamentary probe committee that scrutinised issues at the Fund, said: “We asked the Minister of Gender to provide substantive evidence backing her allegations against Byarugaba and she failed to provide them. That’s why we referred this case to the IGG and DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) for further investigation.” 

Ms Kamya’s decision followed an appeal by Mr Byarugaba who, in a July 13 letter, said he was innocent.

Mr Byarugaba yesterday welcomed the IGG’s decision and told this publication that he will use it as evidence in court. “I am very happy and excited that I have been vindicated. I only did that in my official capacity [and] this demonstrates that the cases against me were to frame me and deny me my job,” he said.