A new audit report has unearthed cases of serious mismanagement of workers' provident fund by top managers, raising the issue of irregular procurement of some 67 vehicles and questionable payment of Shs148 million to five law firms within six months in 2008. KPGM auditors say the National Social Security Fund has pre-qualified lawyers, but on different occasions, the Fund management under suspended MD Chandi Jamwa opted to engage other law firms.
The beneficiary law firms; Messrs Sendege, Senyondo & Co. Advocates; Nyanzi, Kiboneka and Mbabazi Advocates, Peter Mugimba, Kaala & Co. Advocates and Edwin Coe LLP received between Shs1m to 77million from April - October, last year. "Several documents were missing from the files of legal service providers," reads part of report submitted to the Auditor General John Muwanga two months ago.
Mr Vincent Ssekkono, NSSF board chairman, said on Wednesday that they would not comment on the leaked KPGM audit report because "we don't have it and no one should be having it."
Investigators found that the Fund management, through competitive bidding, offered Uganda Nissan Limited a contract to supply 67 vehicles, but later changed the terms from lease to hire purchase contrary to initial bid conditions and without notifying losing bidders.
The auditors variously faulted interdicted MD Mr Jamwa for authorising dubious deals on behalf of NSSF and spending the Fund's resources carelessly, including substantial amounts on gambling in an American casino, buying necklaces and clothes.
It is also reported that Mr Jamwa, before becoming the Fund boss, held a post-paid account 4752053 with MTN mobile telephone Company, on which airtime bills had accumulated to Shs3.7 million on cell phone line 0772 787 419.
However, Mr Jamwa was later to use his position and instructed the Fund officials to clear the bill, including Shs149,164 incurred before he took the NSSF job.
Daily Monitor has learnt that the money was paid on July 15, 2008 using general payment voucher number 65002. We were unable to reach Mr Jamwa yesterday. He, however, had told this paper on Wednesday that the allegations against him are all false and monies he spent were his entitlements as a top manager.
The reported abuse of NSSF contributions yesterday provoked officials to put the government on notice that workers across the country will withdraw their labour if delayed pension sector reforms are not carried out within a month.
Mr Wilson Were, the chairman of the National Organisation of Trade Unions (Notu) said they are angry monies saved by workers for their retirement have continuously been abused without commensurate reprimand of the culprits. "We want reforms that shall include changing the law so that the Fund is detached from individuals and politicians who have mismanaged it," he said.
Earlier, government suspended and ordered investigation into activities of Mr Jamwa and his deputy Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, who both assumed office on Feb. 2, 2007.