The newly appointed Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Hon Frank Tumwebaze has said that what National Social Security Fund (NSSF) members need is the best policy but not the Ministry to oversee the Fund.
Tumwebaze, while taking over the Gender ministry, sought to address the controversy that has been surrounding the new retirement benefits law, that still sits in parliament.
The outgoing Gender Minister Hon Janat Mukwaya was in September tasked by Cabinet to table the NSSF Amendment Bill 2019 before Parliament.
The Bill seeks to amend the NSSF Act (1985) to among others include a provision that NSSF should be supervised by the Finance and Social Security Minister and also reallocate the roles for the Public Service Minister in management of NSSF.
The Bill also provides that the Minister of Finance should oversee Fund management.
The issue brought disagreements among both Ministries of Finance and Gender on who is to be the main overseer of the Fund.
Today, while receiving the office of the Gender Ministry from outgoing Minister Janat Mukwaya, Tumwebaze said that what NSSF needs is the best policy but not the Ministry and added that they are the same government.
“We are the same Government; we are not different Governments. So we will ensure that we adopt the best policy and the best legislation to protect the workers’ savings because NSSF is nothing without the workers,” he said.
He added that the Fund being under the Ministry of Finance doesn’t matter but rather the best policy.
On the issue of labour externalization which has seen many Ugandans go through extreme suffering and misery and some lose their lives, the newly appointed State Minister of Labour and former deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana, after receiving briefing from the technical team of the Ministry said that those that suffer abroad are trafficked.
“Everyday hundreds of people die in Mediterranean Sea trying to cross from North Africa to Europe. Despite the barriers, no one can stop migration of people. They have tried, they have failed,” he said.
Rukutana added that the best remedy is regulation and signing agreements with receiving countries so that labourers are treated on conditions agreed upon by both countries.
To control trafficking, he noted that Government has put interventions such as National anti-Human trafficking task force and a system which ensures that only people who have been cleared by the Ministry are allowed to go.
Tumwebaze meanwhile noted that not all exported labourers are mistreated, and a result said they need to be careful not to cease opportunities where Ugandan migrants are thriving yet the country is suffering huge challenge of unemployment.
“So like my colleague said, regulate weak areas to ensure that there is no abuse such that our people can thrive.”
The outgoing Gender Minister Janat Mukwaya however said that the issue of labour migration doesn’t only concern the Gender Ministry but also ministry of Internal Affairs.