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Arrest Jamwa, Kagonyera - MPs

By Vision Reporter

Added 30th August 2009 03:00 AM

WORKERS’ MPs have called for the immediate arrest of former managing director of NSSF, David Jamwa, and his deputy, Mondo Kagonyera.

WORKERS’ MPs have called for the immediate arrest of former managing director of NSSF, David Jamwa, and his deputy, Mondo Kagonyera.

By Lydia Namubiru

WORKERS’ MPs have called for the immediate arrest of former managing director of NSSF, David Jamwa, and his deputy, Mondo Kagonyera.

The two were suspended in December 2008 to pave way for investigations into the management of the social security fund.

“The Government should immediately take action and prosecute them. That is corruption,” Bruno Pajobo told Saturday Vision in an interview.

According to him, the Government should assume responsibility for taking corrective action since it oversees NSSF management and appointed the two officials in the first place.

“Jamwa should be brought to book. He should be made to refund that money,” also said Theopista Nabulya Sentongo, another worker’s representative. “It is really too much to see workers’ money being misappropriated like that.”

The two MPs were reacting to reports published by The New Vision about reckless spending and abuse of workers’ savings by the former NSSF management.

A forensic audit report revealed that Jamwa had spent sh55m of NSSF money on gambling, clothes and jewelry in USA.

The same report also found that Jamwa and Kagonyera had irregularly allocated themselves huge housing and salary advances, of which sh244m and sh111m respectively, were still outstanding at the time of the audit.

In addition, the report gave a detailed account on how hundreds of millions of shillings were lost in dubious transactions on the stock market involving broker Crane Financial Services, partly owned by city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia.

Workers’ MP Sam Lyomoki said that apart from prosecuting the culprits, urgent measures should be taken to stop further pilfering of the Fund.

He plans to table a Private Members’ Bill in Parliament next week to demand urgent reforms of the laws governing NSSF. “We should quickly stop the bleeding”, Lyomoki said.

In his view, NSSF’s management problems stem from inadequate supervision which was worsened when NSSF was transferred from the Ministry of Labour to the finance ministry five years ago.

“The Cabinet took a decision to transfer the Fund to the Ministry of Finance because of scandals that had hit it at the time,” he said.

“But the decision was not backed by law. This created more disaster because the ministry answerable to Parliament was not in charge of the Fund.”

In the bill he plans to table on Thursday, the Workers’ MP wants clearer provisions in terms of transparency, checks and balances and representation of workers on the NSSF board.

“We have pushed for the board to have 50% workers’ representation, which was finally granted six months ago. Now we want to make sure that the law is reformed to cater for proper supervision and to expand the scope of benefits.”

Lyomoki wants the benefits for workers to also include unemployment benefits and medical insurance. He further wants the age of access to the benefits reduced from 55 to 45 years “given the fact that our life expectancy is below 50.”

Asked if the Government should investigate and prosecute those involved in the pilfering, Lyomoki said he had little faith in the capacity of the Police. “Of course, the Government should ensure that all those implicated are brought to book.

But experience has learnt that very few cases are brought to a successful conclusion. Our laws and capacity to fight corruption are weak. I don’t see how the Police can manage this case.”

Even if the culprits refunded the money, he said, “what is the use if that money is not used in the interest of the workers?”

The Government has not made any official communication on what it plans to do about NSSF’s management issues.

Syda Bbumba, the finance minister who oversees NSSF management, yesterday said she had nothing to say about the matter.

Chris Kassami, the permanent secretary of the finance ministry who represents the Government on the NSSF board, was unavailable for comment.

Arrest Jamwa, Kagonyera - MPs

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