Workers’ Representatives Want a Forensic Audit on NSSF

Representatives of workers in Parliament have called for a forensic audit on the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

The MPs including Agnes Kunihira, Abdul Byakatonda, Arinaitwe Rwakajara and Margaret Rwabushaija on Wednesday appeared before the select committee investigating operations of NSSF.

The select committee chaired by Mbarara South Member of Parliament, Mwine Mpaka was named last week to examine corporate governance structures at NSSF, examine circumstances surrounding the appointment of the Managing Director, evaluate the status and safety of savers’ money, examine the extent of stakeholder engagement in decision making and inquire into any other matters incidental thereto. 

The four MPs recommended to the select committee that an international audit firm is hired to carry out a forensic audit on the Fund worth 17 trillion Shillings. Rwakajara, a former NSSF Board member said that there was need for an audit to ascertain how savers money collected by NSSF is invested and whether it is to the benefit of the workers.

He said that sometimes, investing funds is delayed something that affects the interest earnings of the savers. Rwakajara said that the inquiry should be based on numbers given that the Fund handles money.

On the other hand, Kunihira asked the select committee to look into the Fund investments in real estate. She said that this is a key area where savers money can be misappropriated. Kunihira also told the committee that part of the challenges faced by the Fund is the dual supervision by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.

The dual supervision was provided for following the Amendment of the NSSF Act and according to Kunihira, the Ministry of Finance is dissatisfied with the law and wants sole supervision.

The NSSF probe follows corruption allegations at the Fund stemming from the Minister of Gender, Betty Amongi letter questioning the reappointment of the former Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba when his contract expired at the end of November 2022.

The NSSF Board led by Dr. Peter Kimbowa endorsed Byarugaba’s reappointment for another five-year term. As a result, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja asked Amongi to proceed with the appointment “as recommended by the Board to avoid any managerial gaps, which can put the workers’ funds at risk”.

Amongi protested the move and instead called for an investigation into the conduct of the former MD while at the fund. She accused him of among others abuse of office and mismanagement of investments. She directed that investigations be conducted within two months in line with a resolution by the Board of directors.      

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