Politics

Ssekandi Defends Museveni Powers on EC

Edward Ssekandi

Ugandans have opposed the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Director, shop http://chancellorinsja.com/wp-admin/includes/deprecated.php Richard Byarugaba’s proposal to increase workers’ monthly deductions from 15 to a staggering 30 percent, viagra sale a a snap online survey has revealed.

Byarugaba told the third Congress of Central Organisation of Free Trade Unions (COFTU) in Mukono District on Monday that the increase in the deductions would enable the fund provide more attractive social products.

“We conducted a research and found that about 72 per cent of workers, website after picking their retirement benefits, become destitute after two years. They spend the money on themselves and remain with nothing. We are now saying, workers contributions should be increased from 15 per cent to 20 or 30 per cent so that we can provide more products such as medical, housing, education, among others,” Byarugaba was quoted as saying.

However, Ugandans took to social media on Wednesday to express their frustrations with the fund.

Several people said even with 15 percent of workers’ contributions, NSSF should be able to provide medical and housing facilities.

For some time, Ugandans have argued that NSSF should allow customers secure a portion of their savings for medical insurance and housing.

James Oyena observed: “I am also of the view even with the current 15 percent standard contribution, NSSF can introduce reforms in the benefits scheme.”

According to Byarugaba, “The employee will contribute 10 per cent and employer 20 per cent.”

But a strain on employers would see workers laid off to minimise costs thus increasing unemployment levels in the country.

The better part of Uganda’s tax collections comes from the private sector which contributes 10 percent to the employee’s savings of 5 percent.

Oyena argued that “the workers of this fair land need to get organized and stop agonizing. Without a credible forum to counteract and debate ably the proposed policy changes, we should be prepared to swallow humble pie and meekly comply.”

Robinson Isaac Ogwang said the greatest mistake with NSSF Corporate Governance composition is that worker’s representatives on the board are not workers.

“Decisions are always made without consultation of the core stakeholders,” he added.

“Nevertheless, if the proposal to increase the standard contribution is adopted and we are assured of improved oversight and general performance of the fund, I would not mind my employer paying in an extra 10 percent to my own additional 5 percent. After all if I asked for a salary increment I am sure I won’t get in a long time.”

Exploitation

In response to the Chimp Quiz on Wednesday, Samuel Muchope said on Twitter: “No. I think NSSF MD is unserious. Uganda has no minimum wage, Shs 165bn pension money was swindled and not Shs50 has been recovered.”

Harriet Anena shared on Facebook: “A 30 percent deduction plus all the taxes we pay, government may as well just give our employers an account to deposit all our salaries there. It just doesn’t make sense!”

Obote Ojok chipped in: “I am not so conversant with the investments of the fund but what worries me is that too much is going into real estate. I know it’s looking at improving housing while it makes a profit but what happens when the bubble bursts? Also wonder how much is invested outside the country in more stable ventures? Can’t the fund also invest in health care hence having healthier people to pay more?”

Barbara Among, an investigative journalist in Uganda had no kind words for Byarugaba: “I think NSSF MD proposal to increase the deductions from 15 percent to 30 percent is ridiculous and not a solution to poor management or a lack of strategic thinking at the Fund.”

The prominent journalist added: “Just by having an arrangement where a worker can borrow against his/her savings (of 15 percent) a month like corporate Savings Coops do, can help a worker acquire a house or buy medical insurance.”

She described the move as “robbery.”

Among queried: “As a worker, I want you to first give me a breakdown of what 30 percent can do that the 15 percent has failed to do. Why can’t NSSF first implement that proposal with the current 15 percent?”

Shawn Mubiru, a political activist, weighed in: “It is absolute disrespect when NSSF asks for more when they have failed to manage the 15 percent now why do they think that I have to save with them alone? That now they want 30 percent contribution from my earnings.”

The Fund has in recent years grappled with allegations of corruption and abuse of office.

Joshua Mmali also opposed Byarugaba’s idea: “I wonder how much I have now accumulated for my 3 years of contributing to that ridiculous fund. 10 years ago (luckily, I only contributed to it for 3 years! I feel for you guys who have given them so many years of your hard-earned money!). Anyway, I wish they could just give me my money now and I spend it all on whatever I please!”
Vice President Edward Ssekandi has defended his boss President Museveni who has been given more powers to control the Electoral Commission in the just released Constitutional Amendment Bill 2015.

The Bill that was released by Parliament on Tuesday indicates that the name of EC shall be changed to the Independent Electoral Commission but the President shall remain the appointing authority of its Chairman, recipe http://cocktaildream.be/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/plugins/awaitingmoderation.php Deputy Chair and other commissioners that the August house is yet to decide.

The President shall again take charge of appointing a tribunal that will watch over the new IEC activities and members.

The changes shall affect article 60 (1), viagra 40mg http://city-zen.info/components/com_k2/views/latest/tmpl/latest_item.php (9), (11) and (12) of the 19995 constitution that prescribe the name of EC, appointment and removing of its members.

While addressing journalists at Parliament on Wednesday, Ssekandi said there is no single problem in the “generosity” of the new bill granting Museveni more powers since he will not necessarily have control of the incoming Commission.

“If any person is given mandate to head Electoral Commission, it does not mean him or her will be influenced by the appointing authority when executing his or her assignments as provided in the Constitution,” said Ssekandi, adding that Museveni`s responsibility will stop at appointing the members of the Commission.

The good VP who is a lawyer and former Speaker of Parliament however forgot that in the same new Bill, the President will have the responsibility to remove any member as advised by the tribunal or even by his own wish.

“(10) Where the question for removal of a member involves an allegation that the member of the IEC is incapable of performing the functions of his or her office arising from physical or mental capacity, the President shall on the advice of the head of Health Services of Uganda, appoints a medical board which shall investigate the matter and reports its findings to the President with the copy of the tribunal.”

Clause 11 of the same bill however says the president can fire any member of IEC without consulting the tribunal.

“Where a tribunal is appointed by the President under clause 9 of this article in respect of any member of the IEC, the President shall suspend that member from performing the functions of his or her office.”

However, the Opposition Chief Whip and Dokolo District Woman MP Cecelia Atim Ogwal, said as long as the President remains in control of the system, the entire exercise will continue to be manipulated despite passing all the good laws.

“It is not a mere face value of changing the laws but what we need is a transformation of the electoral process where the President will have no window to manipulate the elections,” Ogwal noted.

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