KAMPALA –Mbarara South Division legislator, Mwine Mpaka Rwamirama has been named Chairperson of the select committee to investigate operations and management of the National Social Security Fund – NSSF.
Mwine Mpaka headed the parliamentary Select Committee that successfully investigated the misconduct of Minister Persis Namuganza – adducing evidence which led to her censure on Monday.
The other members on the committee include; Workers’ representative – Charles Bakkabulindi, Karim Masaba (Industrial Division-Mbale City), Michael Kakembo (Entebbe Municipality), Fortunate Nantongo, (Kyotera District), Laura Kanushu (PWDs) and Amos Kankunda (Rwampara County).
Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa named the committee during a plenary session on Wednesday.
According to the terms of reference, the committee will examine corporate governance structures at the NSSF; examine circumstances surrounding appointment of the fund’s managing director; evaluate status and safety of savers’ money in the fund; and examine the extent of stakeholder engagement in decision making in the fund.
“They are supposed to report back within one month,” announced Tayebwa.
The Opposition Chip Whip, John Baptist Nambeshe, however, raised concern over the inclusion of Bakkabulindi – saying that as a Workers’ representative, his membership on the committee would raise issues of conflict of interest.
“Because of that pre-existing relationship with the fund, he would easily influence the outcome of the investigation and therefore, he should not be allowed to participate,” said Nambeshe.
The Minister of State for Defence, Jacob Oboth explained that there were procedures to handle conflict of interest in such cases.
“Conflict of interest is not a crime. If we are to follow that strictly, then nobody would sit in any committee. The conflict of interest would require him to declare that interest. But another argument would be, who is interested in the NSSF than the representative of workers,” reasoned Oboth Oboth.
Tayebwa guided that consultations would be carried out on the same.
On January 19, 2023 – the House resolved to institute a committee to inquire into the operations of the NSSF following reports of corruption and mismanagement of the Ugx17.9trn fund.
The controversy revolved around the reappointment of the then Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba who had attained the age of 60 and had already served two terms.
The ministries of Finance and Gender supervise the fund concurrently.