Workers demand timely pick of top NSSF bosses

The entrance of the NSSF building in Kampala. The current term of the Fund’s managing directors expires next month. PHOTO | FILE

Workers under their umbrella body, the National Organisation of Trade Unions (Notu) have asked the minister of Gender, Labour, and Social Development to speed up the process of appointing the managing and deputy managing directors for National Social Security Fund (NSSF) ahead of expiry of contracts for the current officers.

Mr Wilson Owere, the Notu chairman, said the contracts of the current directors are due to expire next month and with no new appointments, there will be a leadership vacuum.

“The Minister for Gender has taken a long time to appoint and this can bring serious problems because the fund cannot run without leadership,” Mr Owere said while addressing journalists in Kampala yesterday.

Without giving specifics, Mr Owere said this could create a gap which can easily be taken advantage of to mismanage the Fund.

“We don’t take NSSF for granted, that the history of NSSF is very rich and there have been many forces who are just waiting for any chance to grab anything from there,” the Notu chairman said.

He said the fund has come a long way from Shs2 trillion in 2009 to the current Shs17 trillion, adding that as workers, they must be vigilant .

The Gender ministry permanent Secretary, Mr Aggrey Kibenge, said appointments will be made in time.

“Nobody should be worried, we are aware they have running contracts, we are aware of the end date of those contracts but I don’t want to discuss processes in the newspapers,” Mr Kibenge said. He said Notu should wait for the expiry of the contracts, saying there is no reason why they should start discussing someone’s contract before it has ended.

“If nothing has happened, then they would be right to be worried. For now there is no reason for anybody to start debating someone’s contract which has not ended,” Mr Kibinge said.

The NSSF Amendment Act, 2022 introduced a limit to the tenure of the managing director to two five-year terms, with the reappointment subject to satisfactory performance.

The NSSF managing director, Mr Richard Byarugaba, has served for three terms under the old law.

He is, therefore, eligible for reappointment for another two terms under the new law which takes effect at the end of his third term.

“That was in the old law, you don’t serve two contracts in the old law and that is covered in the new law. Under the new law you start from scratch, you don’t apply the law retrogressively,” Mr Byarugaba.