Speaker A. Among warns NSSf managers , politicians not to raid workers money
By Our Parliament Reporter
A select committee of five members will be set up on Monday to investigate the leadership mess at NSSF, Speaker Anita Among ruled as she vowed that workers money shall be protected at all cost and warned that those who want to use illegal methods to misuse it will go to prison .
The Speaker made the ruling after saveral MPs raised serious concerns about a letter from Gender Minister Betty Amongi wrote to the Chairman Board of Directors asking for 6bn to be included in the NSSF budget to among others “facilitate” the Gender ministry to mobilize savings and grow the fund .
The request for the 6bn was declined by out going MD Richard Byarugaba and sparked off the ongoing row between him and Minister Amongi . The minister declined to renew Byarugaba s contract but approved that of his Deputy Patrick Ayota -while accusing Byarugaba of corruption and mismanagement . The MPs said that if their was mismanagement by Byarugaba in the spirit of fairness his deputy ‘s contract would have been put on hold too due to the principle of collective responsibility.
“We need to restore public faith in NSSF,” said Speaker Among following a heated debate during which MPs accused Gender Minister Betty Amongi of applying double standards and mounting political on the Funds managers and Board of Directors to siphon out workers hard earned savings .
Speaker Among warned. “I don’t want to say this money is cursed. But I have grown up overtime seeing that whoever goes for workers’ money is rotting in prison.“
Speaker Anita Among said she is going to name five incorruptible people on the select committee to carry out detail investigations on the controversial matter that has kept members of the public – especially the savers on their toes – worried that their hard earned savings are going to be misappropriated .
During the plenary before Among made her ruling, Rushenyi County MP Naome Kabasharira wondered how Amongi could defy a presidential directive, the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja’s guidance and board of directors recommendations on the reappointment of Richard Byarugaba as NSSF MD owing to stellar performance of the Fund.
“Ministers should respect authority. We have a Minister who has refused to take the authorities’ directives. Nabbanja is a Prime Minister. She wrote a letter based on directives from the President. Why don’t we trust the Prime Ministe.” Kabasharira stated.
Kabasharira wondered why Amongi’s deferral of Byarugaba’s reappointment occurred after NSSF denying her access to Shs 6bn.
“When the Shs 6bn matter came up, that’s when Richard Byarugaba was asked to step aside. There is the deputy (Ayota). If anything happens (alleged mismanagement), we are jointly liable. Why retain the deputy Ayota and send away the MD? Then let all of them step aside until investigations are completed,” said Kabasharira.
Amongi puts up her defence
On her part, Amongi said she wanted Shs 6bn set aside within the NSSF’s operational budget to support efforts to mobilize various associations, industrial parks and diaspora to contribute to the Fund. She said out of 17 million workers, only 1.5 million save with NSSF.
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