Kyayonka Defends NSSF Over Top Job Selections

Ivan Kyayonka, the chairman of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), has refuted claims of conflict of interest and mismanagement within the Fund as alleged by one of the members of Parliament.

In a statement from NSSF, Kyayonka rubbishes the July 10 motion in Parliament by Aruu MP Odonga Otto, alleging ‘scandal and abuse of office at NSSF.’ In Otto’s motion, it was alleged that the fund irregularly acquired shares in Umeme and that the board chairman had been interfering in the recruitment process of three top officials at the Fund.

As The Observer reported on Monday this week over Otto’s claims, Kyayonka says whatever has so far happened during the recruitment process has been in line with the NSSF Act, 1985. He cites sections 39 to 41 which give the minister exclusive powers to appoint the managing director, his deputy and corporation secretary, in consultation with the board of directors.

“Therefore, the question of the minister interfering in the appointment of the three officials does not arise, is null and void and should be treated as such,” Kyayonka writes.

On the alleged irregularities in the Umeme investment, Kyayonka says the decision was in line with Section 30 of the NSSF Act and was made by the majority of NSSF board members.

“While some members had reservations, it must be known that as a board, we are bound by the principle of collective responsibility. In corporate governance, collective responsibility means that every member who participates (or is supposed to participate) in a decision-making group is equally responsible for the consequences of the decisions taken by the majority and should fully support and abide by the group’s decisions,” he writes.

In her April 2013 report, IGG Irene Mulyagonja dismissed allegations of conflict of interest in the fund’s purchase of Umeme shares and instead noted that the investment had paid off for the members.

To date, just less than two years since investing in Umeme, the Fund has enjoyed a 41 per cent return over the holding period (Shs 11.8bn) in capital gains and Shs 7bn in dividends, according to a statement from the Fund.

But Otto’s motion alleged that the IGG had absolved the fund of any wrongdoing because the NSSF acting managing director, Geraldine Ssali, had irregularly appointed Mulyagonja’s daughter, Elizabeth Nabakooza, as NSSF’s marketing officer.Kyayonka says that insinuation was “far-fetched.”

Source : The Observer

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