By Spy Uganda reporter
Kampala: National Social Security Fund (NSSF) have questioned the integrity of Bank of Uganda (BoU) staff records with “contentious dates of birth” and have demanded copies of their national identity cards for verification.
The NSSF scrutiny of BoU’s staff records also found that a tune of Shs1.6b was paid out to unidentified BoU staff between August 2016 and January 2019, without remitting Shs246m worth of statutory contributions to NSSF.
Due to what NSSF officials called “staff with contentious dates of birth” on March 6, Mr David Mwesigwa Rwamatungi, the Fund’s acting head of business, wrote to Mr Ralph Bakashabaruhanga, the BoU director of pension administration department and explained the Fund’s reluctance to issue the Central Bank with the mandatory clearance certificate.
Although BoU officials wanted the clearance certificates urgently to enable its employees, particularly those in the legal department headed by Ms Margaret Kasule renew their practicing certificates, Mr Rwamatungi insisted that the Fund cannot be rushed.
Referring to BoU’s application for clearance certificate, a statutory requirement under NSSF Act (Chapter 222), Mr Rwamatungi’s letter titled: “Application for an NSSF clearance certificate”, reads: “We understand the urgency of the situation, however, you will appreciate that we have to follow the due process of assessing an employer’s records to ensure compliance with NSSF, before we can issue out a clearance certificate.”
Section 7 (5) of NSSF Act (Chapter 222) requires BoU and other employers applying for a business licence to produce a clearance certificate of up-to-date payments of due contributions issued by the managing director. And for the purposes of sub-section (5), business licence includes practicing certificate for any profession.
Section 7 (7) of the same Act reads: “No employer of a class or description specified in an order made under subsection (1)(b) shall leave or attempt to leave Uganda, whether temporarily or permanently, unless he or she is in possession of a clearance certificate issued by the managing director.”
Mr Rwamatungi also indicated that NSSF was only availed with the appropriate records from BoU for assessment of the period (August 2018-Januatry 2019) on March 1, and therefore, needed time to go through the staff records and other supporting documents.
Providing specifics on the discrepancy, Mr Rwamatungi wrote: “Our subsequent communication to BoU pointed out the issue of staff who is below 55 years of age as per their NSSF registration details, and who are above 55 years as per BoU records.”
To determine whether there was no foul play, sources at BoU said the authorities at NSSF have since instructed Mr Bakashabaruhanga, through his boss, the Governor, Prof.Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile to submit National Identify cards for the affected BoU staff to NSSF to “verify their correct age with the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA)”.
NSSF also pointed out other variances discovered for the six months assessed, which BoU’s finance department/ accounts team could not account for. The earnings unaccounted for stand at Shs1.6b, which created NSSF liability to a tune of Shs246m. BoU officials did not remit this money to NSSF as the law requires.
In November last year, the Inspector General of Government, Ms Irene Mulyagonja, also appointed a team of 200 officers to probe into the wealth of 100 BoU officials at the time when Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises, was concluding a three-month inquiry into the irregularities in the closure of seven commercial banks.