Two Uganda’s heavyweights, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his young brother, Gen Caleb Akandwanaho aka Salim Saleh are reported to be sharply split in the ongoing battle to retain, or not retain Richard Byarugaba as the Managing Director at National Social Security Fund (NSSF), The Investigatorreports.
While the President wants Byarugaba retained on account of having reportedly turned around the fortunes of NSSF than no one ever before and, for also being a loyal cadre, Saleh doesn’t buy into such big brother’s assessment. Saleh says much as Byarugaba has done fairly well, he should have done even much better than that if he had cared to tap into other untapped workforce and brought the same on board.
Saleh is also of the view that Byarugaba has not done enough to protect the NSSF from cases of pillage, nor done enough to make sure that big corporate companies contribute what they are indeed obligated to contribute, more especially, in regard to the expatriate staff. Being a very development-minded guy, Saleh is of the strong opinion NSSF can easily assist the government to meet its desired development goals if it’s leaders can be able to strictly enforce the collection of all the statutory contributions from all the workers who are obligated to contribute to the Fund.
In point of fact, Saleh is alleged to be the one who sponsored the scathing missive but which was camouflaged as having been issued by the line minister, Betty Amongi and which is backing Byarugaba’s sending home. Insider sources opine how such a letter was written by a former University Development Economics Don who has since been seconded to work with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and who, had prior to that, worked for some good time as an economic advisor to him.
“That woman (Amongi) lacks the intellectual depth to be able to write an articulate letter as the one she is alleged to have written in this case,” a source well-grounded in these matters submit. This Investigative website is now privy to info detailing how after listening to Saleh’s compelling case, the President changed his stance and accepted to have Byarugaba defend himself against the charges being laid against him by the line minister before he could be possibly permitted to continue in the service of the MD of NSSF.
After such changed stance by the President, Byarugaba`s camp has since embarked on a smear media campaign against Minister Amongi, Gen. Saleh and the stakeholders who are working against his retention as the big man at NSSF. To this end, news reports have been sponsored to indicate how Amongi simply holds a vendetta against Byarugaba because the latter refused to permit her access to a total of UGX6Bn of the workers’ savings.
Amongi has been standing her ground in light of such sponsored negative as well as highly provocative PR. She insists how she, as a line minister, did nothing wrong to ask for the said funds since she was going to use it to mobilize more workers to contribute to the Social Security Fund as opposed to taking the funds home. Important to note, this is exactly what Saleh himself says by stating that Byarugaba has not done enough to bring more workers on board to widen the social saving kitty.
Also, important to note, reading between the lines, one goes away with the feeling that what is going on is a battle of superiority between the line minister and the head of the social security fund. This had been the case till after the government came out and drew a clear line about who between the Finance and Economic Planning and the Gender, Labor and Social Development docket was responsible for the social security funds.
Also, worth to observe and note, the colossal dimes at NSSF can be equated to a village belle who every suitor would want to lay their hands but looking to exploit her the maximum as opposed to protecting her from the rival suitors. Another piece of news has also been sponsored to indicate how one of Amongi’s strong backers, Dr Sam Lyomoki is being motivated by a grudge after Byarugaba blocked him from purportedly taking a total of one billion shillings out of the workers’ savings.
As we put this conversation to bed, it’s important to make our readers remember the big guys at NSSF who have been claimed by the invisible power struggles behind sponsored by outside powerful individuals. Key personalities to make note of here is the former line Minister, Zoe Bakoko Bakoru as well as David Chandi Jamwa. Bakoko is living in exile in the US. While Jamwa is currently a resident of Luzira prison. Crime? Standing up against the tender in regard to construction of the NSSF Towers plus the Temangalo land deal.
Bakoko has since moaned that she can’t return to Uganda because the mafias told her she would be finished off upon touching down in the country of her birth. Since we understand that Byarugaba has been fighting powerful people from dipping their hands into the workers savings, we can hazard a guess that his wish to return as NSSF MD is more less a wishful thinking. But time will judge.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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