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KATUNTU: NSSF’ BYARUGABA HAS DONE NOTHING WRONG 

By Mulengera Reporters 

Bugweri County MP Abdul Katuntu has vigorously defended the embattled NSSF MD Richard Byarugaba saying he is an efficient manager who only lacks an appropriate supervisor.

In reference to Gender Minister Betty Amongi‘s insistence that Byarugaba leaves on the account of age and long service at the Fund, Katuntu said Byarugaba had done such a good job (setting up systems and stamping out corruption at NSSF) to the extent that he doesn’t deserve the disgraceful treatment to which Amongi has subjected him.

Speaking during the Capital Gang program, where Mazima Retirement Benefits Scheme founder Livingston Mukasa was hosted as a special guest and said there was no problem with the Labor Ministry being allocated Shs6bn to mobilize new members to enlarge NSSF coverage, Katuntu asserted that because of Byarugaba‘s clean and effective leadership, the Fund hadn’t registered any major scandals in the last 12 years of his CEO-ship.

Imploring Ugandans not to fall for the narrative that Byarugaba has done anything wrong, Katuntu said there is no way anyone will lead a GoU entity whose worth is Shs17trn and doesn’t attract malicious attacks.

He added that the question of who between the Ministry of Labor and the one of Finance should exercise more control over NSSF has always caused serious intrigue between political leaders at the two Ministries. Katuntu said that the fact that Byarugaba was able to earn some decent interest for savers even during the COVID19 period is proof he has been an effective Chief Executive for NSSF.

The senior legislator also observed that because there has been no major scandal coming from NSSF in the last 12 years “but someone has had to create one just to make Byarugaba look dirty and everyone is seemingly happy destroying such an excellent manager even when there is nothing he has done to deserve such treatment.”

He added that Byarugaba‘s detractors can only subject him to media demonization because there is nothing wrong or criminal he has done. He said his accusers are only making general claims because there is nothing that can specifically be alleged against him.

Katuntu said that the fact that Amongi, who fellow Gang panelist Maria Nanfuka claimed is the invisible hand behind Byarugaba‘s woes, last week appeared in Parliament and assured the country all was well is further proof that the outgoing CEO has been a very effective leader for NSSF.

Political activist Richard Matua, who lately has distinguished himself as an effective spokesperson for Amongi during the ongoing NSSF storm, sent the moderator a message claiming the problem was the Board being too weak to the extent that two of the members are boyfriend and girlfriend. Katuntu rejected all this as diversionary and fake news.

Matua said Byarugaba had been able to effectively exploit such a weak Board to do what he wants all of which Katuntu dismissed as fake and mere fabrication. “Byarugaba is a stellar performer and that’s why the NSSF collections have been great under him. He has deliberately been working on all that over the years but it’s strange that now all of a sudden everyone is happy, the radios are happy, TVs are happy, social media users are happy and MPs are excited that finally some work is coming their way. It’s strange but that’s what Uganda has become. There is no way one can head a Fund of Shs17trn and doesn’t get targeted.”

Katuntu said what the media is portraying as scandals “are self-created and someone is actually unknowingly undermining the rolling out of the reforms contained in the new NSSF law which Parliament enacted recently.”

Katuntu proceeded to say that the Select Committee, which Speaker Anita Among will be unveiling next week to inquire into NSSF operations, should do its work in a manner that strengthens the shielding of top management against political interference by Ministers and other political leaders.

During the same radio talk show, Katuntu‘s views on Byarugaba were supported and corroborated by Maria Nanfuka who said the problem was the Gender Minister and Gen Salim Saleh who wanted Byarugaba to fund activities of an NGO called Uganda Grain Council.

Joel Senyonyi said that Saleh was increasingly becoming a problem not only for Byarugaba but for many other heads of GoU MDAs and their respective Ministers and political leaders. Nanfuka also blamed Gen Salim Saleh, who has been hosting NSSF-related meetings at his Kapeeka base, for over listening to Amongi‘s views while ignoring ideas floated by Board Chairman Peter Kimbowa and Deputy PSST Patrick Ochailap.

Senyonyi also said the Select Committee of Parliament, which the Speaker will be unveiling next week, is actually unnecessary because Parliament already has standing Committees charged with doing such work. (For comments on this story, get back to us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734 & 0200900416 or email us at mulengeranews@gmail.com).

 

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