The High Court in Kampala has allowed Richard Byarugaba to amend his case and challenge the appointment of Patrick Ayota as the new substantive Managing Director for the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
On Wednesday, Justice Musa Ssekaana gave Byarugaba a green-light to challenge Ayota’s appointment but also ordered that he (Ayota) should be made a party to the case so that he can respond to the allegations.
“ We cannot condemn him(Ayota) unheard since he is the beneficiary of the appointment, “ Justice Ssekaana said on Wednesday before adjourning the case to October 12.
Last month, Byarugaba dragged the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Betty Amongi to court for not renewing his contract at NSSF.
In the suit filed before the Civil Division of the High Court in Kampala, Amongi was sued jointly with the Attorney General and Byarugaba contends that having served NSSF for two terms, before the end of the second one, the minister tried to end it prematurely through a letter in which she claimed he ought to have left office for having clocked the mandatory 60 years age of retirement.
Byarugaba said whereas the NSSF board of directors basing on the fund’s exciting performance during his two terms and the need to complete the 10 year strategic plan for the NSSF for stable continuity recommended for his contract renewal, Among refused.
He said minister Amongi deferred his reappointment by raising various unknown and undisclosed allegations about him including financial impropriety, collusion with contractors, defiance of presidential directives, misrepresentation of facts among others , noting that she assumed the role of his primary accuser since she didn’t disclose any identifiable source of the said allegations.
Last month, Minister Amongi appointed Patrick Ayota as the new Managing Director of NSSF to replace Byarugaba whose contract was not renewed.
In the amended case, Byarugaba says the appointment of Ayota as the new NSSF boss is illegal since it was intended to defeat his earlier case against Minister Amongi.
“The new developments were created for the purpose of defeating the applicant’s claim since they took after filing and service of the application for judicial review and are now being raised as defence to the applicant’s suit,” Byarugaba says.
He notes that the new developments of appointing Ayota as the substantive Managing Director for NSSF are unlawful and contravene the spirit of the National Social Security Fund Act.
Byarugaba wants court to issue an order quashing the recommendation by the NSSF board of directors dated August, 17 ,2023 to minister Amongi in regards the appointment of Ayota as the substantive Managing Director for a period of five years.
He says that before appointment, Ayota was holding a statutory position as NSSF Deputy Managing Director on a fixed five year term which renders him ineligible for appointment as Managing Director.
He also wants court to quash minister Amongi’s letter appointing Ayota as the substantive NSSF Managing Director , a position he is not eligible to be appointed and is not entitled to act.