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I am victim of witch hunt, says NSSFs Richard Byarugaba

Richard Byarugaba. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The former Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund-NSSF, Richard Byarugaba says that corruption allegations leveled against him have no evidence and are just a witch hunt.

Byarugaba briefly made the statement before Parliament’s select committee investigating the operations of the NSSF.

The select committee chaired by Mbarara South Member of Parliament, Mwine Mpaka was named last week to examine corporate governance structures at NSSF, examine circumstances surrounding the appointment of the Managing Director, evaluate the status and safety of savers’ money, examine the extent of stakeholder engagement in decision making and inquire into any other matters incidental thereto.

The probe follows corruption allegations at the Fund stemming from a letter to the Fund board by the Minister of Gender, Betty Amongi,questioning the reappointment of the former Managing Director, Byarugaba when his contract expired at the end of November 2022.

The NSSF Board led by Dr. Peter Kimbowa endorsed Byarugaba’s reappointment for another five-year term. As a result, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja asked Amongi to proceed with the appointment “as recommended by the Board to avoid any managerial gaps, which can put the workers’ funds at risk”.

Amongi protested the move and instead called for an investigation into the conduct of the former Managing Director while at the fund. She accused him of among others abuse of office and mismanagement of investments. She directed that investigations be conducted within two months in line with a resolution by the Board of directors.

While before the select committee, Byarugaba said that he had not responded to the allegations at any fora because the Minister’s letter was not written to him and just saw it on social media.

“I have not had any communication from the Board about it at all and I have not even been given any opportunity to respond to them,” said Byarugaba in part. “I really feel awful because a lot of the allegations, especially the ones that touch on me like corruption…there is no evidence to prove.”

Byarugaba said that he is a victim and the happenings are a witch-hunt and victimization that he cannot comprehend why anybody would like to make allegations against him and fail to back them with evidence.

He said that he is being subjected to pain yet he had done a good job at the Fund and that this can be seen in the records of the Auditor General when he issued unqualified audits for the last 10 years and reports of the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority -PPDA.

Mwine Mpaka, the Select Committee Chairperson directed Byarugaba to prepare a formal defence to the allegations against him.




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