The former Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Richard Byarugaba, has been accused of initiating a money bonanza offer to the board members. This was refuted by Hassan Lwabayi Mudiba, the General Secretary of the Uganda Local Government Workers Union and non-executive member of the NSSF board. Byarugaba had claimed that the board had initiated the idea to distribute Shs1b among themselves, but Lwabayi stated that it was Byarugaba who initiated the money bonanza talk.
The officials were also grilled on the recruitment process at the NSSF, where a significant number of Heads of Departments were found to be recruiting their relatives. The Head of Human Resource was asked to explain why he promoted Geoffrey Ssajabi to the Head of Business in 2017 without the minimum qualification of a master’s degree, which is required for the position.
Furthermore, the officials were questioned about the Shs2.3b that NSSF invested in the construction of the West Nile Golf Club in Arua without a resolution from the NSSF Board or an agreement between the NSSF and the West Nile Golf Club management. The Head of Procurement Gerald Mugabi was also interrogated about the Shs2.5bn he and two others used to travel to India to verify the applicability of smart cards.
The decision to take the entire People and Culture department, consisting of 83 people, to Dubai for a holiday using savers’ money also generated serious debate in the committee. As a result of the investigations, Byarugaba’s phone has been confiscated for forensic studies as the committee finalizes their report.
In conclusion, the allegations against Richard Byarugaba and other officials of the NSSF highlight the need for transparency and accountability in the management of the fund. The NSSF plays a crucial role in securing the future of its members and their families, and it is imperative that the funds are managed in a responsible manner that protects the interests of the savers. The outcome of the investigations will have far-reaching consequences, and it remains to be seen how the matter will be resolved.