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Jamwa on suspension

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th December 2008 03:00 AM

FINANCE minister Ezra Suruma yesterday suspended the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) chief, David Chandi Jamwa, and deputy Mondo Kagonyera. Impeccable sources said late last evening that President Yoweri Museveni ordered the interdiction.

FINANCE minister Ezra Suruma yesterday suspended the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) chief, David Chandi Jamwa, and deputy Mondo Kagonyera. Impeccable sources said late last evening that President Yoweri Museveni ordered the interdiction.

By Vision Reporter

FINANCE minister Ezra Suruma yesterday suspended the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) chief, David Chandi Jamwa, and deputy Mondo Kagonyera. Impeccable sources said late last evening that President Yoweri Museveni ordered the interdiction.

“The President directed that they be suspended and a forensic audit be carried out by the Auditor General’s office on all the Fund’s transactions undertaken under their tenure,” said the sources.

Jamwa’s and Kagonyera’s fate will be determined after the audit, the sources added. Jamwa became NSSF’s managing director in February last year, replacing Leonard Mpuuma. Mpuuma’s contract was terminated prematurely over abuse of office and corruption in which the Fund lost sh8b.

Mpuuma, together with former board chairman Geoffrey Onegi Obel, was charged in court over the scam.
Former labour minister Zoe Bakoko Bakoru, the supervisor of the funds then, was also implicated in the offence, but fled abroad to evade charges.

The financial loss resulted from a botched Nsimbe Housing Estate deal in which the trio allegedly hastily approved to invest billions of the workers’ money in a joint venture with Mugoya Construction Company.

Like his predecessor’s, Jamwa’s tenure has been marred in controversies, the most recent being the purchase of land at Temangalo in Wakiso district from businessman Amos Nzei and Arma Ltd., a company linked to security minister Amama Mbabazi.

Jamwa contradicted himself while meeting a committee of Parliament which investigated the matter.

Initially, he denied that Mbabazi and Suruma pressured him to sign the sh11b land deal but the second time he appeared, he said they had.

The ministers had also been accused of selling the land at a higher than the market price.

The final report said the ministers had breached the Leadership Code and should be sacked. Some members of the committee, however, disagreed and wrote a minority report.

When the matter came up for debate, Parliament said the committee had no power to enforce the Leadership Code, which is the duty of the Inspectorate of Government.

Besides Temangalo, a number of other NSSF transactions have raised eyebrows. One such deal, which is also slated for audit, is the information management system. Although it was budgeted at $800,000, it shot up to $11m and the cost is still rising.

The NSSF’s Pension House project on Lumumba Avenue has also raised serious questions. The initial sh36b cost of the project shot to sh120b. The construction was suspended recently after the foundation wall caved in, killing seven workers.

NSSF is 100% workers’ contributions. Each registered employee, mainly from the private sector, contributes 5% of their salary with a 10% top-up by the employer monthly.

This means members save 15% of their gross monthly salary. The Federation of Uganda Employers has urged the Government to immediately halt a number of other transactions which NSSF is undertaking.

The group listed ALCON payments, in which the construction company wants sh31b for breach of contract, Pension House, Lubowa project and the health insurance scheme whose handling has been questioned by stakeholders.

The organisation is also opposed to the NSSF’s decision to loan URA, the tax body, billions of shillings. The gender and labour ministry has also reportedly disagreed with the Fund over its plan to spend billions of shillings to redevelop the National Theatre.

NSSF recently cancelled the call for bids for the construction of 5,000 low-cost houses in Temangalo.

IGG Faith Mwondha recently recommended radical reforms that would, among other things, make it easier for workers to access their savings.

Jamwa on suspension

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