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Kagonyera most bruised in surprise NSSF sacking

By Onghwens Kisangala

Finance Minister Ezra Nsuruma on December 4 suspended the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Director David Chandi Jamwa and his deputy Prof. Mondo Kagonyera. No official reason was given.

The woes of NSSF leadership started when The Independent magazine broke the story about a deal between NSSF and Security minister Amama Mbabazi with his business partner Amos Nzeyi over the purchase of land in Temangalo. The fund had bought land from the duo in what appeared to be a suspicious deal leading to a parliamentary investigation. The investigations incriminated Jamwa for, among other things, perjury when testifying in Parliament. Ministers Suruma and Mbabazi were absolved of any wrong-doing.

From day one, despite having some sympathizers, Jamwa’s sacking was expected. It is the suspension of Kagonyera that may have come as a surprise to many. Throughout the probe, Kagonyera remained quiet and his name was mentioned only in passing. Yet as a top NRM guru, chancellor of Makerere University, and hitherto a man of great repute, he is surely the greatest loser in this turn of events.

Kagonyera joined politics through Parliament as MP for Rubabo County. He also served as minister in different capacities including that of General Duties in the Prime Minister’s Office and full cabinet minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries. In all these, he was riding on his integrity and high moral standing at least as noted by President Museveni while appointing the professor for Makerere University Chancellorship.

To become chancellor, he had to beat a tight competition from the vice president Prof Gilbert Bukenya.

Prof.  John J. Barya from Makerere University law school says he has always thought different about Kagonyera’s credibility, competence and stature for the office of chancellor. “When he was appointed chancellor I thought it was a joke.” Barya told The Independent after Kagonyera’s sacking.

 “ How could a deputy of Jamwa be selected for that office after shooting down names like former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa, the Archbishop of York John Ssentamu … I thought it was wrong for him to accept that appointment. “He doesn’t have the stature and credibility to be in that office.”

Kampala Central MP Erias Lukwago thinks Kagonyera shouldn’t remain Makerere Chancellor saying the position of chancellorship is one of high repute and stature that cannot be held by “such a tainted person”.

“He cannot have the moral authority to be chancellor. He has to resign now, if he doesn’t he will be sacked again.”

 Lukwago says sacking the duo, however, is not going to check corruption at NSSF. To move to spare two ministers, lead suspects in the Temangalo sag, and the eventual sacking of  Jamwa and Kagonyera shows motives of the NRM leadership.

Jamwa and Kagonyera have indeed paid for being the small fish in a shark filled pool.

Jamwa time line

February 2007:  Jamwa advances to the position of Managing Director of National Security Fund (NSSF).

August 1: The Independent (in issue 20 of August 1-7) breaks story: “ Amama in Shs 10bn Land Deal with NSSF” sparking public interest and a parliamentary probe.

October 2:  Jamwa admits to the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises that he was pressured by Finance minister Ezra Suruma to enter land deal with Security minister Amama Mbabazi and businessman Amos Nzeyi to save their National Bank of Commerce.

November 4th – 5th : Parliament debates and absolves both ministers of any wrong doing.

December 4:  Jamwa is fired.

Prof. Mondo Kagonyera

 Worked at Makerere University as dean in the Veterinary Faculty and came to be chairman of the university’s appointment board.

 1988: Appointed Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries.

He was Member of Parliament for Rubabo County.

2001: Minister of General Duties in the Prime Minister’s Office.

2007: Appointed Makerere University Chancellor. Same year he was appointed Deputy MD of NSSF.

December 4 2008, he was fired as

Deputy MD of NSSF.

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