Employers’ body roots for cross-border savings scheme

KAMPALA. Employees from East African member states saving with national schemes should not withdraw their savings while moving within the Federation, the executive director of the Federation of Uganda Employers, has said

Ms Rosemary Ssenabulya, said it is unfair for young and mid-aged employees moving from one country to another to get their savings meant for future use on the account of moving from one country to another.

“We are all East Africans why would I get my savings when say I am moving to Kenya or Tanzania,” Ms Ssenabulya asked on Thursday in Kampala.

Ms Ssenabulya believes when workers are given their savings, it becomes hard to put the same amount into another saving scheme, meaning the intended self-reliance in future may not be attained.

“The ideal should be that when I am moving from Uganda to Kenya, I should continue with my savings and not to start afresh while there,” Ms Ssenabulya said.

All EAC countries have saving schemes where nationals save but currently there is no arrangement where nationals within the region can continue with their saving undisrupted when they move from one country to another.

Instead, under Section 19 of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), a member of the Fund who emigrates permanently to another country is entitled to his or her own contribution.

Ms Ssenabulya also urged East African Legislative Assembly to expeditiously remove all barriers in a bid to promote free movement of workers in the region and a uniform form and timeframe of not more than one month to acquire a work permit be implemented.

Early this year, Uganda scrapped off work permit fees and visa requirements for Kenyan and Rwandan nationals entering and leaving the country in line with the on-going implementation of the free movement system under the East African Community Common Market Protocol that was signed in 2009 by regional presidents.

Progress of work permits
Kenya. According to survey by East African Business Council, Kenya, has made the greatest strides in easing free movement of labour. For example, the survey says 2,755 work permits for EAC national were
issued between 2011 and May 2012. Rwanda. Another country making strides is Rwanda that gives permits to EAC nationals but Tanzania remains problematic as it charges at $2,000 (about Shs5.9m) each, for its work permits.

ptajuba@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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