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Top NSSF officials phones handed to CID for forensics

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has received the phones of two National Social Security Fund (NSSF) executives for further investigation from the select committee of Parliament looking into NSSF operations.
Regarding a Sh1.8 billion budget for corporate social investment, the former NSSF managing director Richard Byarugaba’s phone and that of the chief financial officer Stevens Mwanje were sent to CID for forensic analysis (CSI).

The committee’s chairman, Mr. Mwine Mpaka, issued the instruction after the two officials made diametrically opposed claims about how the budget was created and broken down. Before beginning its investigation into the budget, the committee discovered that the NSSF board members received Sh1 billion of the Sh1.8 billion budget for Corporate Social Investment (CSI), which was intended to make the Fund more relevant.
Byarugaba was given a mission by Mr. Mpaka to support the NSSF Board’s assertions that he was responsible for the Sh1 billion budget. Mpaka claims that the Board members informed his committee that Mr. Byarugaba delivered them the funds and that they had not requested them.

Richard Gafabusa of Bwamba County inquired how the budget was created, and Mr. Byarugaba responded that CSI was a Board proposal and that the Sh1.8 billion division was decided upon in bulk. He continued by saying that Sh800 million of the Sh1.8 billion had been set aside for worker unions to use for financial literacy initiatives.
Yes, it’s possible that the board was unaware of the problems I cited. We had discussed that split in terms of allocation with the finance department, but they weren’t particularly clear about what would occur. However, that Shs1 billion was mostly used to fund the development of our latest invention.

Mpaka asked the Chief Financial Officer Stevens Mwanje to explain if he had received a directive from Byarugaba to include the said money in the Fund budget. While Mwanje acknowledged the directive, he hastened to add that Byarugaba was equally getting a lot of pressure from ‘above’.
“The MD came to me with two issues; one was about the Shs800 million. The other one was about the board. I do not have anywhere in the budget or the related documents a breakdown of that Shs1 billion. He said he was getting a lot of pressure from above, and he was going to defend it in EXCO,” Mr Mwanje said.

However, Byarugaba insisted that the NSSF finance department generated the breakdown of the one billion Shillings, a statement that prompted MP Mpaka to question whether the Chief Financial Officer was telling lies to the select committee. Byarugaba explained that his role was not to generate the breakdown of the money and that he had received the breakdown via a WhatsApp message from Mwanje.
At this point, the select committee chairperson demanded to view the message on Byarugaba’s mobile phone and he informed the members that on May 4, 2022, at 10 pm, Mwanje had sent the breakdown to Byarugaba.
But Mwanje denied knowledge of the message, forcing the select committee to demand that he hands over his phone. After viewing his phone, Mpaka said that Mwanje seemed to have deleted the record between April 30 and May 6, 2022, given that the message is reflected on Byarugaba’s phone.

In response, Mr Mwanje said that financial slides are generated by his team and that he had asked if they generated the same and they denied it.
This forced MP Mpaka to direct officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) attached to the select committee to take the two phones of Byarugaba and Mwanje for forensic examination. Mpaka said that the process was to enable them to determine the source of the message.

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