Uganda: Finance Minister, Rescue NSSF From Infighting

By Editorial

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is enduring startling leadership headwinds.

There is manifest breakdown in working relations between the Managing Director and the deputy, and this schism has sucked in the Fund's board. First, the deputy MD Geraldine Ssali was put on forced leave. When NSSF's board on Monday decided to suspend her, court halted the decision hours later.

Such litigation arising from the administrative polarity means the workers --- the owners of the money --- will ultimately shoulder the costs and consequences.

Internally, NSSF employees are nervous, their loyalties conflicted and performance likely to be impinged.

Cliques have emerged to eclipse civil corporate governance. This tremor is not new. In 2014, MD Richard Byarugaba told Parliament that he was being fought by "cliques". His deputy Ssali sees herself a victim of cliques and male chauvinism.

We hold that the honchos have an obligation to work together, their personal differences notwithstanding. Why?

At worth Shs6 trillion, the workers' Fund is a financial elephant in town and a temptation to those in and out of politics. It should not be made more vulnerable by leadership flaws.

After a surfeit of stained publicity occasioned by impugned investment decisions or questionable contracts, NSSF lately seemed to the relief of members to have put its house in order, especially this milestone of its 30th anniversary.

We, and particularly contributors to the Fund, expect NSSF executives to be mindful of and appreciate the privilege of being employees and not let inter-personal vendetta or ego inhibit sound corporate judgment.

The board chairman on March 9, indicated "genuine resolution of the conflict (between the principals) in the near future" was unlikely.

Consequently, we implore the Finance Minister, as the overseer of NSSF, to intervene and resolve this dispute for the benefit of all parties and before the squabbles explode to cancerous proportions.

Whereas the expertise of the executive is crucial in determining whether the Fund gains or makes losses, its fortune cannot be mortgaged to the whims, or worse, duo's infighting.

Source: All Africa