Tough times ahead for Byarugaba! Mwine Mpaka tasked to lead a seven member committee to probe NSSF
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, has named a seven-member committee that will probe the alleged corruption and abuse of office at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
The committee which is headed by Mbarara City legislator Mwiine Mpaka has members such as: Mbale Member of Parliament (MP) Karim Masaba, PWDs representative Laura Kanushu, Kyotera district woman MP Fortunate Nnatongo, Rwampara county MP Kankunda , Entebbe Municipality MP Michael Kakembo and workers MP Charles Bakabulindi.
Tayebwa has among other things ordered the ad hoc committee to examine the corporate governance structures at NSSF to evaluate the status and safety of the savers’ money and examine the circumstances surrounding the appointment of the fund’s managing director, Richard Byarugaba.
This is after the State Minister for Finance, Henry Musasizi, told Parliament that members’ savings in NSSF are safe despite recent reports of corruption and mismanagement of the fund that have been circulating in the media.
His remarks came following concerns from the chair and vice-chairperson of the of parliamentary committee on finance who were concerned about the in goings at NSSF.
Musasizi’s reassurance provided relief to concerned members while affirming trust towards responsible management practices by NSSF.
“The members’ saving is safe…internal controls are very robust, everything is working well,” he said.
The select committee is expected to report back to parliament within 30 days.
Recent allegations of corruption and mismanagement of the Fund whose portfolio stands at sh17.9 trillion have drawn anxiety among members of the public.
Other concerns revolving around the renewal of the contract for Byarugaba who had reached the retirement age of 60 years but also had served two terms as chairperson of NSSF include his refusal to remit sh6b as requested by one of the Fund’s supervisor, gender minister Betty Amongi.
The chairperson of the committee, Keefa Kiwanuka, sought to understand how safe funds were and to their satisfaction NSSF presented a statement indicating that investments were in fixed assets which can be traded.
The acting NSSF managing director, Patrick Ayota, told the committee that there is need to penetrate the informal sector to widen social security coverage. He said the Fund was performing extremely well and making profit.
Butambala County Member of Parliament Muwanga Kivumbi tabled a letter on alleged corruption but the chairperson requested for time before considering it further.
The membership of NSSF currently stands at 1.3 million savers with an employer base of 27,628.