L-R: The NSSF board chairperson, Dr Peter Kimbowa, Outgoing NSSF executive director Richard Byarugaba, Labour minister Betty Amongi. PHOTO | FILE

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NSSF saga: IGG takes over Byarugaba probe

What you need to know:

In a telephone interview with the Monitor yesterday afternoon, the NSSF board chairperson, Dr Peter Kimbowa, confirmed that they have already recommended to the government’s relevant investigative bodies, the IGG’s office inclusive, to commence investigations.

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Board has recommended that the Inspectorate of Government office takes over investigations into alleged abuse of office, corruption and mismanagement of NSSF funds by outgoing executive director Richard Byarugaba.

In a telephone interview with the Monitor yesterday afternoon, the NSSF board chairperson, Dr Peter Kimbowa, confirmed that they have already recommended to the government’s relevant investigative bodies, the IGG’s office inclusive, to commence investigations.

“We have already recommended to the relevant established government investigative organs to carry out investigations and they will report back to us…. IGG is investigator number one,” he said.

During a meeting with the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Ms Betty Amongi on December 22, President Museveni ordered investigations into alleged abuse of the Fund by Mr Byarugaba.

Ms Amongi then instructed Mr Kimbowa to spearhead the investigations, a matter that could shape the agenda for tomorrow’s NSSF board meeting.

Dr Kimbowa said the meeting will discuss the Fund’s business continuity, among other issues.

“Our meeting is about business continuity and contingency planning given the expectations of our members in 2023 amid the many uncertainties around. Our job as a board is to provide an overall stewardship and oversight role.

“We are also working as much as we can to recover from the previous two years of lockdown and how the Fund can integrate and relevantly play a role in the national economic recovery framework,” he said.

When contacted for a comment, the Inspectorate of Government spokesperson, Ms Munira Ali, said she couldn’t verify whether the matter was referred to their office or not.

“I have so far checked from the file, but there is no concrete evidence of reference for that matter. Maybe you get back to us tomorrow after I have done more consultations,” she said.

Ms Amongi referred us to the NSSF board chairperson for more information.

“l am not in Kampala, but contact the NSSF chair,” she said.

When contacted by telephone, Mr Byarugaba said: “No comment sir, have a good day, bye.”

What you need to know

When Byarugaba’s contract expired, his deputy, Mr Patrick Ayota, was named the acting managing director and substantive deputy for the next five years.

Sections 39 and 40 of NSSF Act, Chapter 222, as amended, provides for the managing director and deputy managing director, respectively, to be appointed by the minister, in this case, Ms Amongi, on the recommendation of the board.

Both Byarugaba and Ayota are above the mandatory NSSF retirement age of 60, but they all showed a willingness to continue serving in line with the NSSF’s Human Resources Policy and Procedures.

In a 22-page petition signed by more than 100 workers to the President and Ms Amongi, the workers requested that an investigation is carried out into Mr Byarugaba’s management of NSSF projects, illegalities, and the way contracts and procurement are made.

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