Stop playing the innocent card, you joined government knowingly – Ssemujju to Amongi

Kampala – Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda has told the embattled Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Betty Amongi to stop playing innocent on issues regarding the National Social security Fund.

Ssemujju noted that although he believes Amongi might not have had much influence into activities at the Fund, she joined president Museveni and his team well knowing that their economic activity is “looting.”

“I don’t think Amongi is so strong that Museveni can ask her to re-appoint Byarugaba, and she refuses. It’s not possible. There’s a story about this whole NSSF saga that is not told,” he said.

He made the remarks while appearing on the Frontline; a political show on NBS on Thursday night.

The remarks were sparked off after the recommendation of the Select Committee of Parliament tasked to investigate alleged abuse of office, corruption and mismanagement of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) found Amongi guilty and recommended her immediate resignation for abuse of office.

Amongi was accused of writing a controversial letter to the NSSF board asking that they set aside Shs6b to conduct her projects including activities which were already being carried out by the Fund.

In the report released on Wednesday, the parliamentary committee found that all that was done by the minister was illegal and tantamount to abuse of office.

“The actions of the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hon Betty Amongi Ongom, in directing shs6 billion to be availed to her ministry, amounts to abuse of office since the Minister, being the supervisor of NSSF, without any law empowering her to do so and knowing that ministry activities are financed through appropriation did an act which is prejudicial to savers funds and the just administration of the NSSF,” the committee found.

The committee also wants National Social Security Fund (NSSF) former Managing Director Richard Byarugaba alongside his deputy-turned-acting successor Patrick Ayota to be investigated with a view of possible prosecution for abuse of office, corruption and conspiracy to commit a felony.

Minister Amongi had said that the shs6 billion was not going to her office but rather for the Fund to popularise the recently amended NSSF Act.

While appearing on the same show, Amongi insisted that she will not resign because she has done nothing wrong, adding that whatever she did was within the law as line minister and supervisor of the Fund.

“The provision of fair hearing is very important on my side as a Minister, and that is why Parliament has given me a chance to rebuttal on the Floor of Parliament. A number of issues that the Committee found Richard Byarugaba (former NSSF MD) culpable of were from my letter,” she said.

She explained that everything that the committee unearthed happened before she became the supervising Minister.

“I want to reiterate that the Ministry of Gender took over the supervision of the Fund after the 2022 Amendment Act. The Fund was being managed by the Ministry of Finance. They will have a chance to come on the Floor of Parliament to give their explanation,” she said.

Amongi said the issue about Byarugaba (former NSSF MD) started with the budget, adding that she received a lot of internal information from the staff.

Ssemujju who is also Kira Municipality MP said the solution of all these issues is not dissolving the current NSSF board but raising the competencies and qualifications of those on the board.

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