The National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU) has petitioned the High Court, challenging the rejection of its nominees on the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) board.
The NSSF 11th board was inaugurated in December, 2018, by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, but without representatives from NOTU. The inaugurated board is composed of eight members, among them, two females; Florence Namata Mawejje, representing employers and Peninah Tukamwesiga representing workers under the Central Organization of Free Trade Unions (COFTU).
Representatives of the National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU) were rejected by the pension sector regulator, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA) as unfit for the job. But according to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, NOTU was advised to nominate more of preferably female candidates, whose names will be sent to URBRA for vetting and appointment, if approved.
However, NOTU Chairman General Wilson Owere told this publication that they are challenging URBRA because it unfairly rejected their nominees. “We took URBRA to court because we see there was unfairness in everything. And its URBRA that is doing everything to block our nominees,” he said.
Owere in an earlier interview insisted that their nominees were qualified, although he declined to divulge their names. “…The board has nine or ten members, you cannot tell us that we send two names and you want to pick one woman. That is the condition Kasaija is giving NOTU,” he argued.
The NSSF Act says the Board of Directors is supposed to consist of a chairperson, the Managing Director and not less than six or more than eight other members. This means that it can have a minimum of eight members and a maximum of ten members.
The members are picked from the government, workers representatives and employers. The board unveiled last month had two representatives Central Organization of Free Trade Unions (COFTU) representatives, two Federation of Uganda Employers representatives, NSSF Managing Director, two government representatives and a chairperson who is also appointed by the board.
NSSF Managing Director, Richard Byarugaba on Monday told this publication they aren’t anxious about NOTU’s litigation because the minister constituted the board with backing from the Solicitor General.