Debate on NSSF Report Flops for Second Day Running

1696 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
However, Fred Ruhindi, the Attorney General guided the house saying NSSF didn't act contrary to the NSSF Act.

Parliament has again failed to adopt a select committee report following an inquiry into the affairs of the National Social Security Fund-NSSF. It follows the failure by government and the select committee to agree on some recommendations in the report.
Last week, the NSSF select committee presented its finding to the house pinning former finance minister Maria Kiwanuka, Ivan Kyayonka, NSSF chairman, Managing Director Richard Byarugaba and his deputy, Geraldine Ssali for flouting procedures in the purchase of 131 million shares and disregarding advice from the Solicitor General.
Key amongst the recommendations was that Ivan Kyayonka, the NSSF Board Chairman be removed from his position for alleged conflict of interest. It was discovered that Kyayonka was in a rush to purchase UMEME shares because the proceeds would go to independent Thermal Power Producers (IPP), the suppliers to UMEME, who would then pass on the money to Shell, where he was a director. 
During debate on the report, several legislators demanded that Kyayonka be sacked for his actions. Florence Ibi, the Kaberamaido District Woman and his Mbarara municipality counterpart Dr. Medard Bitekyerezo were among those pushing for the sacking of Kyayonka.
//Cue In: We can't absolve...
Cue Out:…let Kyayonka go//

However, Henry Musasizi, the Ndorwa East MP noted that the recommendation would have legal implications. He argued that, the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority Act, which provides for the operations of NSSF states that, all investment decisions should be guided by an investment policy with assurance that they secure good returns on member's savings.
The select committee chairperson Ann Maria Nankabirwa insisted that all NSSF investments are not exempted from seeking approval of the Solicitor General. However, Fred Ruhindi, the Attorney General guided the house saying NSSF didn't act contrary to the NSSF Act.
He cited Section 30 of the NSSF act, which provides that all monies in the fund including the reserve account which are not for the time being required to be applied for the purpose of the fund, shall be invested as may be determined by the board in consultation with the Minister.
Ruhindi cited instances where NSSF invested in Tanzania Breweries Limited and Cooperative Bank of Kenya in line with the Act. 
//Cue In: When we read…
Cue Out:…fund act//
 As a result, Jacob Oulanyah, the deputy speaker tasked the committee and Attorney General to harmonize their positions before they can proceed.
//Cue In: Honourable members..
Cue Out:…to proceed//

Also implicated in the report is Kenneth Kitariko, the CEO of African Alliance, which is the NSSF broker for equities.  The committee noted that African Alliance, by being the sponsoring broker for UMEME IPO and also a director at the Uganda Securities Exchange, Kitariko hasd conflict of interest.  



About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.