Speaker Among orders inquiry into NSSF

Former NSSF Managing Director Richard Byarugaba

What you need to know:

  • The Finance minister, Mr Matia Kasaija, who co-supervises the Fund and was in attendance, declined to speak, saying he had not been given prior notice.

The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Anita Among, has ordered a probe into alleged abuse of office and mismanagement at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
The Speaker made the directive yesterday after Gender, Labour and Social Development minister Betty Amongi presented a statement on the floor of Parliament about the workers’ Union.
“Under Rule [of Procedure] 190, I am referring this [matter] to a Select Committee and we shall have very able people who can never be compromised to handle this matter. I will announce the names of the five people on Monday,” she said.

Ms Amongi told the MPs that the members’ money is safe.
“Those that required a forensic audit were accordingly referred to the Auditor General,” she said, adding “and those bordering on impropriety, abuse of office or corruption to the Inspectorate of Government, with a request that their findings be shared within a period of 60 days’’.
The Finance minister, Mr Matia Kasaija, who co-supervises the Fund and was in attendance, declined to speak, saying he had not been given prior notice.
“Unfortunately, I was not informed to come [prepared] to this House. I don’t want to come and talk to you when I am not prepared,” he said.

“I was taught that when you are talking to important people, you prepare yourself. Therefore, with humility, I want to be released to go and check what I will present and whatever Parliament asks of me, I am ready to come tomorrow and present it,” Mr Kasaija added.
The Speaker excused him from the debate, but wondered why NSSF is always embroiled in controversy.
“I don’t want to say that it is cursed money. But that money of workers? I grew up knowing that whoever goes for workers’ money goes to Prison. So many people are rotting in prison because of workers’ money and it is our responsibility as Parliament to restore hope in the public,” Ms Among said.
 
MPs react
Mr Patrick Oshabe Nsamba (Kassanda North County), representing the absent Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga, said since Ms Amongi’s letter is already in the public domain, the House should investigate the matter.
“The more we keep beating around the bush with these things, the more we are causing trouble within the Fund,” he said.
Mr Arinaitwe Rwakajara (Workers MP) said “there is no smoke without fire” and asked for the House to handle the matter carefully.

Ms Joanne Aniku Okia (Madi-Okollo Woman MP) asked the Speaker to invite other stakeholders to the House, including Mr Richard Byarugaba to hear their side of the story.  Mr Byarugaba is the former NSSF managing director.

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