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Uganda’s trade union body advises against social security demo

 

NOTU boss Owere

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) has said that it is against a planned demonstration by a section of savers against the National Social Security Fund- NSSF.

Usher Wilson Owere, the Chairman General of NOTU says that the body is not part of the demonstration that is expected to take place on Monday, July 13th across Uganda.

“I call on the workers to be patient as we pursue this. Tomorrow I will be in the Speaker’s office to ensure this is expedited. When you start demonstrating now when the process is ongoing, it will jeopardize the process. We have done a lot of lobbying to make this act amended,” Owere said.

“This demonstration is not organised by any authentic leadership, it is COVID times, workers can easily lose life.”

Parliament is currently in the process of amending the NSSF act, to enable the fund to offer other services, including increased mid-term withdrawals.

Gideon Tugume, the Chairperson of the NSSF Savers Forum wrote a letter to NSSF MD, Richard Byarugaba on July 9th, notifying him that members will demonstrate at the NSSF branches across the country until each member is given part of their savings worth sh5 million.

He also wants Byarugaba to apologize for saying NSSF cannot release emergency funds to members because there is no enabling law.

He adds that NSSF gave out 800 million shillings to the Covid-19 national task force and yet it has failed to extend the same support to its members.

Alex Ndeezi, the chairperson of the parliamentary committee on gender says the joint committee on gender and finance will hold the last meetings next week to discuss the draft report and make a decision regarding supervision of NSSF.

The Workers Representative, Dr Sam Lyomoki, says he supports members who want to demonstrate. He says that the Bill has not been passed, almost a year after it was brought to the House.

Lyomoki is however excited that the joint committee supports the proposal on mid-term access.

In May, Byraugaba said that he supports members’ needs and midterm access to their money.

He asked the public to push MPs to pass the NSSF Amendment Bill, 2019 to provide an enabling law for mid-term access to benefits.

While the Bill proposes that only voluntary savers should have mid-term access to their benefits, the  Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions-COFTU and the National Organisation of Trade Unions-NOTU propose that members who have saved with NSSF for at least 10-years or those aged 45-years and above, to access their benefits

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