Gender Minister Betty Amongi has asked the managing director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Mr Richard Byarugaba, to step down, saying that he has attained the retirement age.
According to Ms Amongi, said she was informed by NSSF Board chairperson Peter Kimbowa that Mr Byarugaba has clocked the mandatory retirement age of 60 years and should give way in line with the Public Service Standing Order and NSSF Human Resource Policy.
“… I note that the deputy managing director heeded to the law and retired, and I have appointed him on [a fixed two-year] contract. You have, however, not officially retired although, by law, your retirement is mandatory and automatic upon attainment of the retirement age of 60 years,” the minister is quoted by Daily Monitor as saying in a July 22 letter to Mr Byarugaba.
“Note that all actions you take now, on behalf of the Fund, are not protected by any law and can be challenged. This is dangerous for the operations of the Fund and I cannot continue to put the Fund at risk without addressing the matter,” her letter adds.
The recent amendments in the NSSF Act transferred the mandate to appoint the Managing Director and the deputy from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, to the Ministry of Gender and Social Development with the advice of the Board of Directors.
Minister Amongi asked Mr Byarugaba to hand office over to his deputy, Patrick Ayota, who she said retired but was reappointed in acting capacity.
“… I note that the deputy managing director heeded to the law and retired, and I have appointed him on [a fixed two-year] contract. You have, however, not officially retired although, by law, your retirement is mandatory and automatic upon attainment of the retirement age of 60 years,” the minister wrote.
The minister said after retirement, then Mr Byarugaba can reapply for the job and be appointed on contract.
The NSSF board had already written to the minister recommending the extension of the contract of Byarugaba, who has been at the helm of the fund for 12 years.
The Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija and some members of the board have hailed Byarugaba for ‘turning the fund around’, including reducing the number of scandals involving loss of money, the digitization of the Fund’s operations and the turnaround time for different services.
In January 2014, Geraldine Ssali, who was Deputy MD was appointed Acting MD following the expiry of Richard Byarugaba’s first three-year contract.
In October of the same year, she relinquished the brief tenure when Byarugaba was reappointed as MD.