You’ve Eaten Enough, Go Rear Pigs!-Court Dustbins Former NSSF Richard Byarugaba’s Petition Seeking Contract Renewal

You’ve Eaten Enough, Go Rear Pigs!-Court Dustbins Former NSSF Richard Byarugaba’s Petition Seeking Contract Renewal

By Spy Uganda

Kampala: The High Court has dismissed former Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Richard Byarugaba’s petition that sought to challenge the decision not to extend his tenure.

The ruling was delivered on Friday by Judge Musa Ssekaana of the Civil Division asserting that the rejection of Byarugaba’s reappointment by Labour and Gender Minister Betty Amongi was lawful. The judge found no evidence of irrationality in the minister’s decision-making process.

“The Minister as the appointing authority has some latitude of power to subject recommended persons to scrutiny and or reject the same and direct a fresh process of recruitment as it was done or approve of the recommended persons and effect the appointment'” Judge Ssekaana said in his ruling.

According to Ssekaana, the court cannot quash the appointment of Ayota because the NSSF board had duly recommended for it.

Byarugaba’s legal challenge stemmed from events in August 2023 when he petitioned against the Attorney General and Minister Amongi seeking judicial intervention to compel Amongi to fulfill her statutory obligations by reinstating him as the NSSF Managing Director, as per the board’s recommendation and legal requirements.

According to Byarugaba, there were procedural irregularities in the decision-making that led to non-renewal of his contract.

He further contended that his right to a fair hearing was violated adding that that his successor, Patrick Ayota, lacked the suitability to lead NSSF. Consequently, Ayota was also named among the respondents in the case.

Having served as NSSF MD since August 1, 2010, Byarugaba saw his second term, which commenced on November 29, 2017 end on November 30, 2022 and he was consquntly replaced by his former deputy Ayota.

He argued that Minister Amongi sought to prematurely terminate his tenure, citing his age of 60, but only the intervention of the Attorney General enabled him to complete his second term.

The NSSF Board had recommended renewing both Byarugaba and Ayota’s contracts. However, Amongi opted to extend only Ayota’s tenure while deferring Byarugaba’s reappointment.

Amongi cited various allegations against Byarugaba, including financial mismanagement, corruption, collusion with contractors, defiance of presidential directives among others.

The above allegations were investigated by the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Betty Kamya who directed Byarugaba to pay Ugx5billion with his colleague, the NSSF Director Finance, Stephen Mwanje.

According to IGG, the two irregularly authorized payment of Ugx 4.4Bn to a member of staff who exited under early retirement.

This was revealed in Kamya’s report on NSSF’s corruption and mismanagement scandal. The same report revealed that Byarugaba engineered resignation of two board members, a move that caused the NSSF to lose over Ugx 600M.

”The two NSSF officials should refund the said money or face prosecution, though only two out of 25 accounts investigated by the Inspectorate implicated Byarugaba. Despite all this, Byarugaba is credited for registering tremendous growth during his tenure at the NSSF.” IGG’s report revealed at the time. an accessible web community

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