The former Worker’s MP Dr. Sam Lyomoki has been pinned for illegally appointing himself and girlfriend on the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) board to represent workers under Central Organization of Free Trade Union (COFTU).
Lyomoki has also been faulted for requisitioning Shs 1 billion from the NSSF for activities not known by members of COFTU.
The revelation was made as the Parliamentary Select Committee on NSSF flagged off its investigations into the alleged rot at the NSSF where they are meeting different stakeholders.
Job Richard Matua, a petitioner against the reappointment of Richard Byarugaba as the managing director at NSSF was the first to appear as a witness before the committee investigating the alleged rot at the Fund.
Matua first explained to legislators why he petitioned the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Betty Amongi asking her to rescind the decision of the NSSF board that was recommending the reappointment of Byarugaba and his Deputy Patrick Ayota as they had clocked the retirement age.
The petitioner also presented evidence on how some members are failing to access their midterm access to their funds after the Byarugaba management introduced an internal mechanism that makes it hard for members to access their funds.
The petitioner also raised an alarm on the NSSF houses built in Lubowa that cost between Shs 1.5 billion to Shs 3 billion that savers cannot manage to possess a house.
Matua disclosed some of the Ugandan companies and firms that owe NSSF billions of shillings meant to be remitted for workers. He believes there is connivance between these companies and the employers.
The other witnesses that appeared before the committee are officials from the National Organisation of Trade Union who believe there are underlying forces that want to destabilise the fund.
To them the funds at NSSF are safe and happy with the governance structure at the NSSF.
Byarugaba and his deputy, Ayota are both past retirement age but the NSSF board recommended their reappointment on the basis of good performance.
Although Amongi reappointed Ayota, she declined to reappoint Byarugaba and instead directed the NSSF board to write to the Inspector General of Government (IGG) and have him investigated on allegations of corruption and mismanagement.
The MoU between the Fund and COFTU was drawn on December 15, 2022 but signed by Lyomoki, the COFTU secretary general, two days earlier, on December 13. Ayota signed the MoU on behalf of NSSF.
On December 14, before the MoU had been officially drafted, and before it had been signed by NSSF, Lyomoki wrote to NSSF referencing the MoU and acknowledging the receipt of Shs100 million earlier allocated.
He, however, introduced three new areas for funding and asked for an additional Shs600 million to be paid to COFTU.
He asked the Fund to release the balance of Shs300 million earlier allocated, and asked for a Shs600m share of the now-controversial Shs6 billion.
There have been queries over the propriety of the proposed payments to the trade unions and other stakeholders, as well as possible conflicts of interest. Dr Lyomoki, who signed on behalf of COFTU and was involved in the discussion of the MoU, is a member of the NSSF board.