Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga yesterday named a six-member ad hoc committee to investigate two senior government officials for “corruption” and “conflict of interest”.
The two officials will be investigated for their role in the disputed recruitment of top managers at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). In her letter, read by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah in the House, Kadaga appointed Kalungu East MP Vincent Ssempijja (Independent) as the probe team’s chairman. The five other committee members include Anna Maria Nankabirwa (Kiboga Woman, NRM), Kalungu West MP Joseph Ssewungu (DP), Alex Ruhunda (Fort Portal Municipality, NRM), and Workers’ MP Teopisita Nabulya (NRM).
Kadaga’s decision to name a probe team followed what some MPs described last week as an “unconvincing” parliamentary explanation by the Finance Minister Maria Kiwanuka. The MPs claimed the minister sidestepped “key issues” surrounding the recruitment.
A week ago, Aruu MP Odonga Otto (FDC) led a group of legislators to push through a petition on alleged misconduct. They accused Minister Kiwanuka and NSSF Board Chairman Ivan Kyayonka of plotting to disregard the results of interviews, in order to offer the social security agency’s three top jobs to candidates of their choice.
The petitioners explain that during the interviews, Edgar Agaba emerged as the best managing director candidate, Patrick Ayota as best deputy MD candidate and Richard Wabwire Wejura as best corporation secretary candidate.
“Hon Kiwanuka and Chairman NSSF Board Ivan Kyayonka arehave disregarded and ignoringaltering the interview results in favour of Mr [Joseph Serwanga] Kitamirike as MD and Mrs Geraldine Ssali, who is currently acting MD, for deputy MD,” says the petition.
In her brief statement in Parliament last Friday, Minister Kiwanuka said the “recommendations of the stakeholders [interviewers] including PricewaterhouseCoopers are aisory,” meaning she was at liberty to choose from any of the successful interviewees, as minister in charge of NSSF.
Kiwanuka told the House the recruitment exercise was in “aanced stages, and I will soon finalise it.”
Dissatisfied with the minister’s explanation, MPs urged the speaker to set up a probe committee
“The minister is avoiding a lot of questions and to me, her statement is diversionary. So, I think she will give this statement in the select committee,” Dr Sam Lyomoki (Workers, NRM) submitted.
He was supported by MPs Wafula Oguttu (Leader of Opposition) and Eddie Kwizera (Bufumbira East, NRM).
Oguttu said: “Madam Speaker, you guided that you were going to set up a select committee, but it has never been constituted.”
In her ruling, Kadaga said: “Okay, I will designate the select committee, and we shall give it one month initially.”
Source : The Observer