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I WARNED YOU BUT YOU DIDN’T LISTEN: Matia Kasaija Tells Minister Betty Amongi to Carry Her Cross in NSSF Money Request Saga

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija

Matia Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, has faulted his counterpart Betty Amongi, the Minister in charge of Gender, Labour and Social Development, over her request for Shs6bn from the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).

Both Kasaija and Amongi supervise NSSF, with the former overseeing the Fund’s investments and the latter the strategic direction.  Both ministers appeared before a special committee of Parliament investigating alleged corruption and mismanagement at NSSF.

Minister Kasaija made it clear before the MPs on the committee that it was not right for Minister Among to request funds from the Board of NSSF to facilitate the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and trade unions.

The Finance Minister made it clear that a meeting to discuss the controversial Shs6bn request, and that Minister Amongi was present. According to Kasaija, in this particular meeting, he clearly “disagreed” with his “colleague” Amongi “because a ministry that is supervising that body should not ask for money to run the affairs of the ministry even if those affairs are related to the Fund.”

He added that Minister Among should have requested for money from the Treasury because NSSF money “is not our money” but “workers’ money.”

The NSSF Amendment Act paved way for dual supervision of the fund and Kasaija said that it is irregular for a minister supervising the fund to request for money.
“They should request for money from the Treasury. Please, let us be clear, this money is not our money,” he said.

The Secretary to the Treasury, Patrick Ocailap told the committee that the Shs6 billion request by Amongi was not approved in the NSSF budget.
“We sent a budget to her to approve and in considering approval of the budget that is when she gave that counter proposal of re-allocation. From the Treasury where I sit, I did not approve that money, it is irregular,” Ocailap said.

This prompted the Committee Chairperson, Hon. Mwine Mpaka to ask Kasaija why the fund had no challenges in the past 10 years, until recently when dual supervision started.

Kasaija explained that it is because he had a good working relationship with NSSF’s former Managing Director , Richard Byarugaba and the Board.
“When the MD or Board Chairperson would get a challenge, they would come to me and if I felt that there was something I did understand, I would summon them to explain. For all purposes, I had no issue of substance with Byarugaba that is worth mentioning here,” said Kasaija.

You can read Minister Amongi’s response on the matter as well as the NSSF Board’s, which also pinned the Minister from Lango HERE and THERE.

Meanwhile, former NSSF MD Richard Byarugaba has revealed that Minister Betty Amongi’s allegations made him shed tears. (See Details HERE).

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