Stephen Kalema

National Organisation of Trade Union (Notu) has accused the National Social Security Fund of raising savings interest to 15 per cent in error. The NSSF board had earlier approved 13.5 percent.

In the financial year 2017/2018, NSSF declared 15 per cent interest increase  predominantly due to rise in investment income and member contributions. However, on Sunday Notu leaders at their offices in Ntinda accused NSSF and Finance minister Matia Kasaija for fraudulently making the increment.

“NSSF declared this large chunk of interest to its members unlawfully. The law states that the interest rate must not exceed 13.5 per cent. However, Kasaija wrote and ordered it to 15 per cent yet the law does not allow one to just write and this is not right,” NOTU secretary general Peter Christopher Werikhe said.

However members of a rival union, the Central Organisation of Free Trade Union (Coftu) said they do not see any problem in increasing the interest because it benefits workers.

“Every worker would be very happy since the minister has increased the interest so if any person says that minister did bad, it will be very unfair,” Workers MP Sam Lyomoki, also Coftu Secretary General, said.

Notu member are also up in arms after four of their preferred representatives on the NSSF board were rejected.This follows a letter, writen to the chairman on Notu by Kasaija, noting that Werikhe, Stephen Mugole and Mercy Mabuya Matende were not fit to sit on the NSSF board of trustees.

Notu was therefor given two weeks, from October 29 to submit fresh names for vetting.

According to  NSSF boss Richard Byarugaba, the 15 per cent interest increase was declared as a way to make NSSF members happy.

“We have had a good year (2017), we earned good returns on the fixed income and equity markets in East Africa the stock exchanges in Uganda and Kenya performed well in 2017. So, so we are sharing with our members the profits we have made,” he told Daily Monitor in August.

Currently NSSF has about 900,000 who make regular contributions to the national serving scheme.