The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) did not approve the purchase of shares in Umeme like the fund’s Acting Managing Director Geraldine Ssali claimed.
While appearing before the select committee of parliament that was set up to investigate the fund, Ssali said that the board took the decision to carry on the investment in consultation with the minister.
But the National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) today presented letters that were exchanged between NSSF board members that show that the chairman of the board Ivan Kyayonka took the decision unilaterally.
NOTU chairman General Usher Wilson Owere today presented a letter to the committee in which the board members representing workers asked Kyayonka why he went ahead with the investment regardless of the concerns that were raised at a board meeting.
The members argued that it would be dangerous to go on with the investment when parliament had by resolution recommended the termination of the Umeme contract, the share prices were inflated and that they had got information indicating that Umeme was highly indebted.
It was on these grounds that the members suggested that the plans to purchase the shares be halted until extensive consultation on those issues had been done.
The members in their letter expressed surprise that Kyayonka went ahead to purchase the shares ignoring the resolution of parliament and the position of the board members.
The committee also got a letter by Pius Bigirimana, the Permanent Secretary in the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development and member of the NSSF board disassociating himself from the purchase.
But Owere, who was accompanied by his deputy Stanley Kagwa and other officials, told the committee that it is still the fault of the Minister who irregularly named Kyayonka chairman of the board and hasn’t even raised a finger to clear the mess.
Owere said that Kyayonka had conflict of interest since until recently he has been the Managing Director of Shell which had been supplying fuel to Umeme.
He said that the workers are worried that there is a plan to loot the fund and that the fund could be on the verge of collapsing because of lack of able management.
He further informed the committee that the fund is in poor state since most of its employees have left saying that they are uncomfortable with the management. He said that the fund has in a short period lost the head of contracts, the head of investment and the head of marketing.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga in July named a five-member Select Committee to probe the allegations of nepotism and unfair recruitment at NSSF; illegal purchase of Umeme shares; irregular disposal of the NSSF assets and any other matter related to the mismanagement.
The Fund has had tumultuous decades of internal administration with almost all its managing directors being forced out under corruption scandals.