Court to Hear Byarugaba’s Contract Extension Case Next Month

Justice Musa Ssekaana will hear the case in which, the former Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Richard Byarugaba, is challenging the non-renewal of his contract. Justice Ssekaana has scheduled September 27th, 2023 to hear that matter that was transferred from Lady Justice Esther Nambayo, to whom the matter had initially been assigned.

Lady Justice Nambayo had initially set Monday as the hearing date for the matter, but due to the reassignment, Justice Ssekaana, who also heads the Civil Division, has allocated another date. About two weeks ago, Byarugaba filed a petition seeking an order directing the Gender, Labour, and Social Development Minister, Betty Amongi, to fulfill her statutory duties and complete his reappointment as the Managing Director of NSSF, as recommended by the Board and required by the law.

Byarugaba, who was succeeded by his former Deputy Patrick Ayota, argues that the decision to reject the board’s recommendation to reappoint him was procedurally incorrect and violated his legitimate expectations by not affording him a fair hearing. He asserts that he served as the Managing Director of NSSF since August 1, 2010, and his second appointment, which began on November 29, 2017, expired on November 30, 2022.

Byarugaba contends that even before his second contract could run its course, Amongi attempted to prematurely end it by stating that he should have retired upon reaching the age of 60. He adds that only with the intervention of the Attorney General was he able to complete his second term of office. The NSSF Board of Directors had recommended renewing the contracts of both Byarugaba and his deputy Patrick Ayota.

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Evidence shows that the Attorney General also advised that there was no legal impediment if the Board recommended renewing Byarugaba’s contract. However, Amongi renewed only the contract of the Deputy MD and deferred Byarugaba’s appointment, citing various allegations including financial impropriety, collusion with contractors, defiance of presidential directives, and corruption.

Despite stakeholders meeting at State House on December 6, 2022, and receiving guidance from President Yoweri Museveni to conclude Byarugaba’s appointment process, Amongi did not follow the guidance. Byarugaba argues that this, along with ignoring the February 2023 report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the state of affairs at NSSF where he was cleared of financial impropriety allegations, makes the decision not to renew his contract illegal, irrational, and procedurally incorrect.

According to Byarugaba, the decision also disregarded the Inspector General of Government’s report, which cleared him of allegations and supported the Board’s recommendation based on his previous performance in office. Records indicate that NSSF, under Byarugaba’s and his Deputy’s leadership, currently has 2,000,000 members and assets worth 17 trillion Shillings. Based on this performance, Byarugaba is seeking to have the decision not to renew his contract set aside.

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