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Uganda replaces social security fund’s deputy manager over poor performance

By Timothy Sibasi, timothy.sibasi@alleastafrica.com

KAMPALA – The deputy managing director of Uganda’s state-run National Social Security Fund (NSSF) has been replaced following a decision by the organization’s board that recommended to the finance minister not to renew her contract in September, Alleastafrica has learned.

The news of Geraldine Ssali Busulwa’s replacement came to light after the country finance minister who is the appointing authority of the leadership at the Fund has appointed Patrick Ayota who has been Chief Finance Officer as the new Deputy Managing Director.

In a lengthy letter addressed to the minister Kasaija, Ms. Ssali has complained over an ordeal at the hands of the NSSF Board, requesting the minister to preside over an unbiased assessment of her performance, claiming that the current managing director Richard Byarugaba and the Board ‘victimized’ her based on a personal level rather than her performance record.

Ssali also stated in the letter, dated on October 16 that she didn’t get an opportunity to be heard and explain the alleged grounds for refusal to renew her contract.

“In arriving at a final report about my performance, the Managing Director would have sat down with me and carried out my performance appraisal in line with Fund guidelines on performance,” she said but added that this wasn’t done.

She accused the Board of sidelining other members who had been against the decision to drop her.

During her leadership as Acting Managing Director between 2014 and 2015, Ssali claimed to have helped grow the Fund in value of Shs 5 trillion mark in total value, despite the tough economic situation.

When reports came out regarding the non-renewal of Ssali’s contract, NSSF stated that legally, the Board reserved the discretion to determine whether or not to renew the three appointees (Managing Director, Deputy Managing Director and the Corporation Secretary).

“The Board has a mandate to make performance-based recommendations on the renewal and or non-renewal of contracts of the three statutory appointees,” Carol Arimi, the Head marketing and Communications at the Fund had told this website.

“Further to that, the decision to renew or not renew a contract of a statutory appointee rests with the Minister of Finance Planning and Economic Development,” she added.

In March 2016 Ssali who has served as Deputy M.D since 2011 was suspended by the Fund’s Board citing insubordination and failure to follow the company’s rules.

She then filed a suit seeking a temporary injunction to block the decision by the Board Chairperson Patrick Kaberenge sending her on forced leave.

However, the court has later ruled in her favor saying that the manner in which the Board had suspended Ssali was ‘suspicious’ and raised questions over the Fund’s integrity. She has since been reinstated.

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