Crime & Investigation

EXCLUSIVE: State House to Punish Kagingo

In the course of celebrating their growth to become the biggest pension fund in East Africa, shop National Social Security Fund (NSSF) bosses have expressed concern over the way government is maintaining tight controls on their investment options.

NSSF board and management stressed on Tuesday that government’s numerous procedural gates remained a major setback in trying to invest customers’ money in lucrative ventures and expanding the Fund’s assets.

Speaking to their members at the Fund’s 2nd Annual Members Meeting in Kampala, NSSF leadership made a wish list which majorly entailed being accorded more freedom from government controls.

The body currently needs clearances from a number of government bodies among which is Ministry of Finance, the Solicitor General to be able to make any investment.

This, they say holds them off numerous investment opportunities especially in the stock market.

“My wish is to be allowed by government to do business in the way of any other corporate company. I need to see as little interventions as possible in terms of bottlenecks,” said NSSF Ag Managing Director Ms Geraldine Ssali Busuulwa.

“Allow the board execute its role of governing and steering the fund in the right direction.”

The Fund’s Board Chairman Mr Ivan Kyayonka stressed that NSSF would be way bigger than its current size of 4.4 trillion, if government set them free.


“We want to be released to go and make money for our members. We need to break free. By now we would be paying an interest rate of 20 percent or more to our members if it wasn’t for these stringent regulations,” he said.

The Fund currently pays 11.5 percent interest to savers, about 2 percent above the 10 year national inflation rate.

Earlier this month the Fund bosses told media that, due to the lengthy procedures, NSSF has this year alone missed out on two key investment opportunities in Tanzania and Rwanda.

 Former MD Byarugaba (R) also attended

Former MD Byarugaba (R) also attended

“There were very interesting IPOs especially at the Tanzania Breweries, but by the time we went to inject in the money, we found when the value had moved five times,” said Kyayonka at press conference.

“Today I am even reluctant to look for contractors to kick start our Lubowa (real estate) project, because I fear that once I open up the procurement process, the people fighting for the contract will be attacking each other technically and I will be caught up in the middle, and before you know it I am being dragged to the PPDA, IGG, parliament and all,” said Ms Busuulwa yesterday.

The leaders’ demands come at the time NSSF is entangled in corruption allegations surrounding its recent investment in shares at power distributors UMEME.

The deal, currently under parliamentary investigation and thought to have been extremely profitable, is said to lack the Finance minister’s approval.

No Intimidation

But amid these accusations, board chairman Kyayonka, said the Fund managers wouldn’t be intimated.

“We are being intimidated, but we are not afraid,” said Kyayonka. “I have seen more than this. I sat on the board that disbanded URA, and there was much more pressure.”

Sadly, Kyayonka noted, these acts of intimidation are only time wasting, especially when they yield nothing and are based on rumors.”

According to MD Busuulwa, the fund staff loses about 20 percent of its working hours, in cooperating with government investigations into various whistleblowers’ allegations.
State House is considering what officials described as a “firm disciplinary action” against Sarah Kagingo, more about who until recently, site has been serving as the President’s Special Communications Assistant, information pills Chimp Corps report.

Sources told this website on Wednesday morning that President Museveni has been advised to crack the whip to protect the integrity of the institutions of the presidency and the army which Kagingo attacked last night.

“It is not about ‘if’ but ‘when’ action will be taken. While Police are carrying out their investigations into Kagingo’s conduct that led to the arrest of an IT specialist for hacking the president’s social media accounts, we have our own internal corrective measures to enforce discipline of staff,” said a source.

Shortly after it was announced that Museveni had telephoned Gen Kale Kayihura and ordered him to investigate Kagingo over Joseph Owino’s arrest on Sunday, the sacked aide took to social media where she blasted State House and the army for not taking action against Maj Edith Nakalema (President’s Private Secretary/Secretarial duties) over continued assault and harassment.

“In August this year, I reported Maj Edith Nakalema to Police over continued assault and harassment in spite of reports made to her Commanders. Whereas we had tried to seek help administratively since January this year, Maj Nakalema kept assaulting, harassing and intimidating me and others with impunity,” charged Kagingo.

She also blasted the UPDF and SFC.

“I was disappointed that my employers could not protect me from such harassment. Moreover, I had known UPDF as a force that follows a strict code of conduct that did not ‘tolerate’ harassment of civilians,” said Kagingo.

“Will the Government of the Republic of Uganda, reputed in the region and beyond as having built a disciplined professional Army, obstruct prosecution of one of its soldiers?

Will the UPDF (and SFC), a force whose history is deeply rooted in liberation struggles in Africa, a force that boasts of a clear ideology of fighting just wars and a pro-people doctrine, obstruct justice and, therefore, deliberately or inadvertently, turn against a civilian staff of their Commander-in-Chief for standing against wrongs and reporting matters of unprofessional conduct on the part of one of their soldiers to Police? Is this misconduct on my part?” she added.

Kagingo said she was taken aback by the double standards.

“It is okay for Special Investigations Division to handle a complaint of assault filed by one Sarah Kagingo against Maj Nakalema for its special nature, but yet when a matter as gross as the President’s twitter account is reported to the same unit, that unit, according to a State House statement, is said to be undermining the President and together with Sarah Kagingo shall be investigated for “ordering police officers to arrest Joseph Owino. I did not know, until these allegations, that I’m so ‘powerful’ that I can order police officers around to arrest people. I have tweeted about the circumstances surrounding Joseph Owino’s arrest.”

Officials told this website that Kagingo should not have attacked State House staff in the public for as it undermines the institution of the presidency.

State House quoted Museveni as saying, “I personally suspended Kagingo for misconduct and she does not have any role in handling the state house website or my social media platforms. This is a responsibility that falls under my ICT department.”

The President explained that nobody in state house or in government has powers to order the arrest of anybody. This he said is the duty of security agencies.

“It was wrong, for the police officers to work on directives of Kagingo. This must be investigated thoroughly to find out why they did it,” he said.

Kagingo rattles State House

The embattled former aide also broke silence on why he reported Owino to Police.

“I got worried that the hijackers would make updates prejudicial to the person of the President. I contacted colleagues at State House for help. That help was not forthcoming. I reported the matter to Facebook together with Mr. Joseph Owino who had earlier got in touch with me via Facebook to help ensure all Facebook and twitter accounts were verified. I’m forever grateful. I will return to this later.

Facebook responded thus, “our policy does not handle disputes between 3rd parties.” I wondered, “who is this 3rd party?” Joseph Owino sent me a Facebook message advising that the matter should be handled at office level. Was Joseph in touch with somebody at State House? How was he sure that somebody at State House was involved? Was it innocent and genuine advice?” she elaborated.

“Nevertheless, Facebook promised to get to the bottom of the matter. I was, however, shocked by an email from Joseph Owino to Facebook claiming that although the page had been flagged to avoid embarrassing posts, “the President’s page was out of imminent danger and that he (Joseph) was, therefore, out of the matter. Why did Joseph Owino have confidence that the hijackers of the page did not pose danger to the account? Were they known to him? Was he in touch with the ‘hijackers’? Was his email to Facebook intended to cause doubts about me to Facebook authorities? So that, then, Facebook does not recover the page from the hijackers? Was he acting under duress? How could Joseph who helped verify the accounts betray us?”

Kagingo said when she suggested that “I make a complaint to Facebook using my official email, he (Owino) insisted on doing it on my behalf using his email and copied me in. I decided to report the matter to Police. Which station would I report to and ensure that the matter does not spill to the media and cause embarrassment to the head of State and State House?”

Owino denies hacking into Museveni’s social media accounts.

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