KAMPALA – Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Betty Amongi’s Ugx6b request to facilitate activities to expand the National Social Security Fund – NSSF was irregular – according to the fund’s board chairperson, Peter Kimbowa.
The NSSF board chair made the revelation while appearing before the Select Committee investigating allegations of mismanagement of the fund on Wednesday.
Kimbowa said that the board declined to approve the Ugx6b request – because the fund’s governing body was not aware of its intended purpose.
“The board requested management to come up with a comprehensive work plan and examine how the various activities are going to be resourced and we also examine the accountability matrix that will be attached to this project. This has not happened,” said Kimbowa.
Kimbowa’s submission, however, contradicted a statement made by the minister during plenary sitting on January 19.
Karim Masaba – the Industrial Division, Mbale City MP read the Parliament Hansard in which the minister said that the NSSF board had approved the request of the Ugx6b and the work plan.
Committee chairperson Mwine Mpaka, then asked Kimbowa if the minister’s statement to Parliament was not true.
“The Parliament Hansard is clear and I need you to answer either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ if the minister was lying to Parliament,” said Mwine Mpaka.
Kimbowa said that since there was no board resolution on the minister’s request, it is proof that it was not approved.
The chairperson of the fund’s finance committee, Silver Mugisha explained that when the proposal was tabled before his team, the NSSF management resolved to evaluate whether it aligns with the fund’s budget strategy.
“When we sent the budget for approval to the minister, the feedback was that it is approved but there was an idea that we allocate Ugx6b for certain activities,” said Mugisha.
Workers’ MP Charles Bakkabulindi wondered how investment plans were initiated.
“Does the finance committee sit before the board or the board sits first. Who was sneaking the Ugx6b for the final approval of the board? I want the board members to be mindful that we have all the figures and the papers,” said Bakkabulindi.
On January 19 – the House resolved to institute a committee to inquire into the operations of NSSF following reports of corruption and mismanagement of the Ugx17.9trn fund.