Former National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Director Richard Byarugaba has told a parliamentary committee investigating the pension fund that he was a victim of witch-hunt and has never been involved in any acts of mismanagement and corruption as alleged by Betty Amongi, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
It should be remembered that Amongi blocked the re-appointment of Byarugaba as NSSF MD over these allegations. But the NSSF Board had recommended the reappointment of Byarugaba to extend his decade reign at the pension fund.
Appearing briefly before the committee on Thursday, February 02, 2023, Byarugaba denied the claims by Minister Amongi, saying he was just a victim. He also said he felt awful and has at one time shed tears hearing some of the allegations on local radio.
“I call myself a victim. I know the honourable minister and the Fund have tried to portray me as a villain and to be quite frank, I am a victim and I feel really bad,” Byarugaba said as he appeared before a committee chaired by Mbarara City South MP Mwine Mpaka.
“I tried to be very strong with this thing but on Saturday, there was [a program on radio] where a one Richard Matua, who I believe came to this committee and made horrible allegations. I broke down and cried for the first time because I [asked myself]: “why am I being subjected to this [when] I have done a very good job?”
He also insisted that there was no evidence to prove that he had engaged in acts of corruption. He also wondered why Inspector General of Government (IGG) Beti Kamya was yet to summon him over the allegations.
“I really feel awful because a lot of the allegations that touch on me personally like corruption, there is no evidence to show these allegations. How wild can this be that I received five per cent of the contract value on Pension Towers and I wired the money through a bank in Mauritius and in Barclays?” he wondered. “The IGG, who is meant to investigate this, has not even been in touch with me.”
Meanwhile, the committee has listened to submissions from both Minister Amongi and NSSF Board Chairman Peter Kimbowa on the controversial Shs6bn request. The officials gave conflicting views on the legality of the request, with the NSSF Board chairman disowning the Museveni Minister. (Read Stories Here and There).