Uganda Retirement Benefit Regulatory Authority URBRA Acting Chief Executive Officer, Martin Nsubuga has said that the retirement benefit schemes regulators is not aware of Mazima Voluntary Individual Retirement Benefits Scheme MVIRBS General Assembly called by defunct administration. Mazima Chief Executive Officer Livingstone Mukasa who was relieved of his duties last week has circulated a notice of Mazimas Annual General Assembly scheduled for Friday 27th at Makerere University.
URBRA last week appointed Octagon Uganda Limited as Mazima's administrator and trustees for a period of 3months which could be extended up to 12months. Octagon Uganda Limited replaced management team led by Livingstone Mukasa who was the Chief Executive Officer.
But Mukasa has circulated a notice of Mazima's Annual General Assembly scheduled for Friday 27th at Makerere University. "Mazima's 1st Annual General Meeting is now scheduled for Friday 27th, April 2018 at 2pm to 5pm at Faculty of Food Science Makerere University. Please confirm attendance in advance so we can prepare a seat for you. Please note that this is a must attend event for members. As a member owned fund, this is your chance to influence how the scheme is run," the announcement reads.
Martin Nsubuga, the Acting Chief Executive Officer, URBRA, told Uganda Radio Network that URBRA is not aware of the meeting. He said that if the annual general assembly is to be called, it has to be organized by the interim administration.
"Well if that general assembly is to be called, it supposed to be under the interim administrator. If the (interim administrator) is the one calling it, we have no objection," Nsubuga said.
"I need to investigate that general assembly. I have to inquire from the current administrator who is behind that Annual General Assembly," he added.
According to the agenda for the General Assembly circulated by Livingstone Mukasa, URBRA is supposed to attend the meeting. But Nsubuga said URBRA has not received any invitation. "We normally attend meeting for all retirement benefit schemes upon invitation…I have not seen any invitation to us. But if it comes in, we shall handle it then," he said.
However, Mukasa told Uganda Radio Network that the General Assembly was called nearly a month ago yet the new interim administration was appointed last week. He said URBRA was formally invited and recognized receipt of the invitation. "I have a stamped letter of URBRA invitation letter. If they don't want to come, we cannot force them," Mukasa said.
Mukasa said as long as he has not communicated, stopping the General Assembly will go on.
Mazima started in 2016 and then licenced by URBRA. Mukasa said they faced two uphill challenges from the start. First, how to pay for start-up costs and initial marketing expenses. Mukasa says Mazima and later Four One Financial Services Limited agreed to put up the initial funding with approval from board of trustees.
The second challenge was; the scheme in the beginning needed a champion. Again Mukasa stepped forward to take up the Chief Executive Officer designation on condition he will be paid when "the scheme succeeds and only if it succeeds."
Controversy emerged in October 2017 when Mazima's accounts were submitted to URBRA that captured members' contributions for up to the period of June 30th, 2017. URBRA declined to approve the account. When management set the date for the Annual General Meeting on 15th December 2017, URBRA directed that it should be suspended. URBRA directed that Livingstone Mukasa cease his role as Chief Executive. URBRA further directed that the scheme should appoint substantive management.
Mazima management refused to heed to URBRA's directives until when the regulator appointed an interim administration on April 18th, 2018.
Mukasa communicated to members that the retirement scheme savings have reached Uganda shilling 764 million. "Mazima is proving a resilient concept and growing steadily. Mazima now has 1098 Members. In the month of March 2018, we saved UGX 41 million bringing the total so far to UGX 764 Million. This is net of UGX 104 million we have paid out to 38 members that have voluntarily exited," he said.