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Saturday, October 11, 2008

The NSSF flu invades the countryside


Augustine Ruzindana
I have just been in Ruhaama, Ntungamo, and I was surprised to find that the Temangalo-Mbabazi debacle is as topical there, as in Kampala, courtesy of the FM radio coverage. No one was asking about the details, they are well known. What was intriguing was a widespread belief that such a big thing could not happen without the nod of the boss of the main participants in the deal. Why has he not acted if he did not know the plan? But the most intriguing surprise was a reluctance to believe that Maj. Gen. Muhwezi could have been involved in a bank robbery. People generally believe that the accusations against him regarding the GAVI and the Global Fund scandals could be true. In the last election campaigns Muhwezi was a frequent visitor to Ruhaama donating large sums of money in support of a certain new parliamentary candidate. Nevertheless people link his prosecution to having fallen out with his boss, otherwise why are other high ranking people known to be doing the same things not being prosecuted? The bank robbery allegations are viewed in the same light.The Temangalo saga is helping many people to better understand the character of the regime. For example, the revelations and testimony of Charles Rwomushana about the rigging activities and torture of people in the Pallisa district elections and the coercive arm-twisting of the district chairman to ally with NRM summarise what takes place in the general elections countrywide. The clumsy and crude methods being used by sections of NRM to cover up for Mbabazi and lately Suruma and the counter moves by another section to settle scores unrelated to the irregular Temangalo land purchase/sale illustrate the huge institutional stress facing the NRM. Perhaps the biggest revelation is the exposure of how embedded networks facilitate these types of deals. A minister appoints colleagues on a board or executive positions and at an appropriate time they will be called upon to facilitate irregular deals as the NSSF one.Meanwhile some new interesting developments have taken place. The NRM Parliamentary Caucus has declared the Temangalo deal an NRM matter as MPs have been forbidden from discussing the matter in public, otherwise they will face disciplinary measures. Indeed disciplinary measures have already been taken against Rwomushana. Could it be that the connection of Muhwezi to an alleged bank robbery/fraud is also connected to the public vocal position he has taken against the part played by the NRM Secretary General in the Temangalo land sale? Matters are moving unusually fast as Muhwezi has already made a charge-and-caution statement at CID headquarters. With the GAVI and Global Fund matters also being vigorously pursued, there may be need to form a Jim Muhwezi Police Unit. The heavy responsibility is now on the shoulders of the parliamentary committee investigating the NSSF saga to produce a credible report on the matter. There may be need to discuss the conclusions with the affected persons so that no one should ever say that they were not heard on any matter appearing in the report.Meanwhile the most serious development is illustrated by a picture on the front page of the Daily Monitor, Wednesday, October 8. The police and local defence force guards are shown blocking a road leading to Nakasongola, thus physically blocking the Kabaka from continuing on his planned programmes in the district. Mengo sources are reported to have said that “Even Riot Police was equipped with teargas” waiting to deal with the Kabaka if he turned up. Is there need for another signal to Mengo that the gloves are off and that talks with the President are futile?
Comments:
richard gudoi said at 11 Oct 2008, 03:00
Augustine,You have some good and poor points.While you have mentioned the NSSF Flue in the villages,it is nolonger news that ur telling the world.Everybody is aware of it.I would like to take on you:If you are the one who was at the helm of IGG, what did you do to help Uganda expose fraudsters? What is your living testimony to Ugandans. You should tell us .I qoute Lincoln who said" I have not done anything to leave behind,something for someone to remember" was the reason he wanted to be a president of the US.According to me, you did not leave anything behind like a plan to help fight fraud,graft in Uganda.Now that you are in the opposition, you should have even been more alert and vocal.But because u are elusive to your own performance as former IGG, you can only talk while hiding behind the people of Tungamo.I would love to hear you make a representative sample of what most constituencies are saying to make an acceptable assertion to the world and government.If your performance was good as IGG, such scenarios like NSSF saga and many others would not arise. You did not ably advise Ugandans while in your office in the best way forward,yet are a commerce student.But on the other hand you have made made some points though come too late.Thank you!
Ronnie said at 10 Oct 2008, 09:43
BRIDGET, JUST COME UP WITH YOUR POINT I WOUNDER IF YOU ARE LEARNED, BUT YOU SHOULD BE ANTWAY IF YOU CANT SEE WHAT THE UGANDA WE LIVE IN NOW AM SORRY FOR SUCH PEOPLE
kabayekka said at 10 Oct 2008, 08:51
You see what I mean. The NSSF has invaded the countryside where the liberators victimised that place left,right and centre. You know that military coup-de-tais used to happen in the urban areas of Uganda. Grab the one radio and Kampala and you are in business to rule Uganda. Well everybody knows how it came about to go into the countryside. The voters there believing that the man had so much money to campaign and give them soap, grain seeds and lots of future hopes is a point for them to understand where the ranch man and his rich party gets its funds. However, most of them new before why the NRM was a poor man's party as most had to give them food and shelter in their fight to capture power. If the countryside this time refuses to learn from this corruption, they will never learn anything. This is a live revolution for all.
Jack1 said at 10 Oct 2008, 08:36
In the face of rapid loss of credibility has the opposition elements had an oportunity to realise that now is the time to be showing that you are a credible alternative to M7 and NRM?M7 is going to leave the country in total caos that it needs foresight by the oposition on what to do when M7 falls.Problem is that leaders in Uganda keep reminding us through thier ad hoc governance ways that they only think in terms of how long they hope to stay in govt or alive.Yet they should be thinking and planning more for the next generation.
Hiled said at 10 Oct 2008, 08:06
No one can dispute the extent of the flu.Just ask Museveni and his people who attended the 46th independence day military show.NSSF workers were booed by even peasants from so remote areas.The verdict is laready passed even 1000 night meetings are held.Time to cough will come.
Xerxes said at 10 Oct 2008, 07:03
It is difficult to believe that people like Ruzindana who were once buddies of M7 can come up and write honestly about their erst while comrades. I personally thought all the so called NRM ideologues aka historicals where all the same.
Charles Dalton Opwonya said at 10 Oct 2008, 04:54
Shame! Shame! Shame!Ruhakana Rugunda salvage what remains of your name and abandon the Mafia Sharks IMMEDIATELY!!!
okabo Benson said at 10 Oct 2008, 01:13
I think the observations made by Ruzindana are not just correct but also very accurate and expected of Ugandans at this point.We should never think that people out there are so stupind simply because thay are not in the center of power. An ordinary Ugandan would ask questions and generate answers as raised in the disscussions and findings of Ruzindana.For one thing why should one ordinary Ugandan walk and steal workers money,and on top harras and implicate his challengers and the president who claims to be a champion against corruption is silent about it.I hope the president at this point has his team on the ground who will provide him the right information that will help him send mbabazi to the gallows for his sins.If that is not done then what will ordinary Ugandans like us have to celebrate from a people who have for long called themselves liberators.We need liberation from plotitcal persecution and mass corruption as practiced by Amama. Secondly do we still need to struggle or fight to know that people were beaten in Pallisa, this is an open thing, and if any one challenges this then can they also challenge election violences championed by carders like Mutale in other parts of the country?Museveni we embrace you as an elected leader, please protect us from merciless and arrogant people like this one otherwise the same reasons that took you to the bush will one time be a reason for a group of people to abondone you and do the same.
WILLIAM said at 10 Oct 2008, 01:12
MR.RUZINDANA'S ARTICLE IS SPOT ON,I HAVE BEEN AROUND THE COUNTRY AND WHAT I HAVE SEEN AND HEARD ECHOES THE SAME.
bridget said at 10 Oct 2008, 00:13
Mr Ruzindana sorry to tell you that you are misusing your office (FDC party secretary for research and policy) your research lacks credibility you should on party activities than writing nosense which can soil the party. shame upon you
james mabugo said at 09 Oct 2008, 18:59
The NRM0 regime like any in Africa tend to think that because they are in power and have access to state resources they will never leave and therefore will never become answerable to anyone.Most historicals by virtue of what they have done to this country deserve to be put out by firing squad! Indegenous Ugandans have now come to believe that immigrants or naturalised citizens may not have full commitment to this country.The indicators are there for every body to see.

Probe MPs; you have shamed Parliament

Editorial
Scandal begets scandal. That’s the summary description of the Tuesday meeting between Security Minister Mbabazi and the NRM members on the parliamentary committee investigating him over the NSSF Temangalo land saga. Twelve of the 15 members on the committee met Mbabazi in the office of the NRM Chief Whip where he reportedly told them that when writing their report, they should ensure their Opposition counterparts on the probe do not take advantage to damage the NRM image. He also reportedly told them that they should hold that the Temangalo land deal was an investment, not a procurement. He also reportedly told them to question why the National Environment Management Authority did not declare his land a wetland until it became a matter of investigation after he had sold it.The sale of Temangalo land to NSSF is already scandalous enough on the strength of what has been exposed so far. But the MPs investigating the controversy to allow themselves to meet one of the principal suspects under the investigation, makes it a double scandal. The MPs have put themselves to shame. Kajara MP Steven Tashobya’s claim that the meeting has no implication because Mbabazi was consulting them like any other interested party was doing elsewhere, is devoid of substance. Even assuming Mbabazi was consulting, would it be right to consult his investigators on their likely findings? Absolutely No. In fact Mbabazi was not consulting them, he was briefing them on what to write in their report and how to write it.He asked them to question why Nema had not declared his land a wetland before he sold it; he told them to find that the sale was an investment, not a procurement. Isn’t this telling them what their findings and recommendations about him should be? Basically, he was writing the report for them. If it was mere consulting, and not influencing the findings of the investigation, why didn’t Mbabazi consult the whole committee? And if he was consulting them as party members, as Tashobya claims, why didn’t he meet the whole NRM Parliamentary Caucus? Are the 12 MPs on the committee the only NRM party members?This has further dented the image of the party the members are purportedly trying to salvage. By meeting at the NRM Chief Whip’s office with Mbabazi, it now appears the party is on Mbabazi’s side. But whichever way, the meeting has ruined the credibility of the committee, its investigations and the ultimate report.

Comments

Wilson Oceu said at 10 Oct 2008, 18:34
That is spot on.What do you have to expect from people who have lost their conscience and think with other parts of the body other than the brains?. I mean the stomachs.I don't know if horrible members of parliament also have the word intergrity in their vocabulary and if atall it exists, why don't they attempt to apply it?I guess the current house of psrlisment may get into record for incompetence, Jirani what do you say?
okwasipe said at 10 Oct 2008, 07:37
mr. Mbabazi should allow the probers to do their work, as he has always said it was afair deal. Let the mps come out fairly with their report than intimidating them in the name of consulting them. Let the mps also be objective like others who have Uganda at heart, never trust a man like Mbabazi, because when he is cleared as he is trying to bribe you with ideas so that he comes out clean, the arrogance will be at it's peak. enough damage has been caused to the economy of the country. It seems the gov't has failed. There is no need for NRM to seek for another mandate to lead again, lets try other parties also i believe they can make a change considering the mistakes made by NRM. if it were me i could have resigned long time. there is time for everything, if it has come to your end please go don't force. GOD RESCUE UGANDA FROM THIS FREEDOM FIGHTRES.
Turumye Amos said at 10 Oct 2008, 06:50
Sir, i read with interest Mr. Omar Kalige Nyago's article "The elite has failed Ugandans for 46 years of independence". Where as this could be partly true, what power has the elite to enable them change the country? Given that even professors are running away from their profession to join politics.
Max said at 10 Oct 2008, 04:10
Gada,Thanks very much. I couldn't have put it better myself.
ERIC said at 10 Oct 2008, 02:12
I think those who were asking who the mafia are or is,we are at per.How can an ordinary Minister/SG/MP have such guts to tell radio stations not to host fellow ministers' talkshows castigating his involvement in theft,tell a whole party not to debate his thuggery,meet and tell lawmakers what their findings are,and he still wields power.Let me warn this govt,your omega is nearer than ever before,better pack that which you have stolen and go rather than wait to be made to vomit even your lives.AMEN.
Ntegye Asiimwe said at 10 Oct 2008, 01:50
Daily Monitor,Our Parliament misplaced (lost) its sense of shame long time ago.They are immune to shame.
Gada said at 09 Oct 2008, 22:45
Jesus taught his disciples thus: By their fruit you will know them. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, neither can a bad tree bear good fruit.The only unbelievable part here is that to this day, after all you have seen and heard, you still expect anything more from this crew. Rest assured then that you are in for more unbelievable moments: All the while the north suffered, we looked away. While Congo was raped and pillaged (4 million dead!), we drank bell lager and slept. We saw bad fruit and still believed the tree was good. Evil begets evil. The chickens will come home to roost.
adebu said at 09 Oct 2008, 19:56
Unbelievable!He is using his office to manipulate and intimidate the committe members to find him innocent! It's so SAD. It's us the Ugandans that keep losing in this Kisseka land that was originally bought using our taxes, and again sold to us. This "dishonourable man" should be out of office and in jail, and efforts made to recover our savings.

NSSF; time for Amama to pay the price

NSSF; time for Amama to pay the price
Gawaya Tegulle
Since I began television talk show hosting seven years ago, I can identify three shows as my most difficult– all of them in my good old days on Issues at Hand, WBS Television, now hosted by my good friend Peter Kibazo.
The least problematic of the shows was with former Minister for Ethics and Integrity, Miria Matembe; difficult to control and with an inherent disregard for anything called authority, it was all I could do to keep her in check.The so-so one was with somebody better left nameless.
High up in the President’s company, this man who can’t spell the word humility has a thing for the bottle. That evening he came to the show completely boozed up and reeking of beer and spirits from every pore.
I got tipsy just being next to him for an hour. Halfway through the show I called for an unscheduled break because my guest wanted to use the bathroom. And after waiting for a good 10 minutes or so, I feared something had gone wrong and went to check on him. He had finished easing himself okay, but in his stupor, missed his way and headed for some other place in Gordon Wavamunno’s labyrinth of a building known as Spear House, thank you very much!
The most difficult of all the shows was in 2003– or thereabouts. We were discussing the developments in the war against Joseph Kony’s LRA, and my guest was then Minister of Defence Amama Mbabazi. Calm and calculated, Amama is not a man you rush into anything, and certainly not into talking. He took his time, selecting every word carefully and as a usually fast-paced talkshow host I found great difficulty– and frustration- getting him to hurry.
But in that one hour I got to know Amama as a man who takes great care in everything he says or does, something confirmed in subsequent interviews with him over the years. So while most of his colleagues have been freely involved in scandal, Amama has over the years come to be known as Mr Clean – to the chagrin of his colleagues who don’t appreciate white birds in a black flock. Not known to dip fingers into the cookie jar, steal a wife here or there, pick campus girls for a fling or cream off a juicy commission like some other vice politicians are known for, Amama has been exceptional.
And like Daniel in the Bible, his enemies were desperate to get an excuse to bring him down, which happily came in the form of the Temangalo saga. If it had been some other politician involved – somebody we are used to seeing in this or that scandal- nobody would have so much as raised a finger or wagged a tongue about the matter. But because it is Amama, suddenly it is a big deal.
That is where Amama has been rather naïve at playing careful and clean all the time in a country where the dubious are respected and applauded, and the righteous frowned upon as arrogant and guilty of parading a holier-than-thou attitude. The fun of it all is that the people pinning down Amama are the ones who frankly, should not even be pontificating on matters of integrity.
Social psyche in nation building is an important structural incentive against corruption especially at a time like this. When a man keeps himself clean, his reputation should stand him in good stead before the jury if he gets meshed up in controversy. In Uganda the social psyche is such that he gets punished for playing clean all along, meaning that it is better to be corrupt and survive.
When Temangalo is over, Amama should think again about staying clean – it’s not safe in a Uganda where crime does pay.
Comments:
6-pack said at 11 Oct 2008, 03:29
Hi Tegule,I remember watching u on TV and i liked the show then.. I can see you tried to be modest and polite coz u think Mbabazi might hunt u down! While thats a possibility we cannot stigmatize as unfounded, you continued to peddle the rumour Mbabazi started himself.Mbabazi is the furthest thing from clean and you of all people, with ur sources and connections should certainly be in the know!Next time, if u don't have the balls to call a spade by its name, don't write politics, go write about nature and wildlife!
richard gidds said at 11 Oct 2008, 03:13
Mr.Tegule,Somehowly you think like I have always thought.What is disturbing is the way things were being handled.FirstlyThe reterun of home of Dr.Nsuruma and later his appointment as minister for finance.The appointment of NSSF board of directors,The National Bank of commerce shareholders,The purchase of temangalo land by NSSF The Jamwa testimony!The Basoga have a sayingand a joke that"OMUNTU TI MUNTU..."Mr.Tegule, I know you make good and long analysis,why is that this time around you have made a short one,given the itemized issues above, I would request that you throw more light on them.God Bless you!
Kabunu-Kabatooro. said at 10 Oct 2008, 23:00
The Banyankole have saying that "Akarya sausage haza kaarya ebiisha". I think its time for Mbabazi to own up.
Odiya said at 10 Oct 2008, 18:05
Try to be a hard-nosed journalist and do your research before peddling cliche's. Mr Clean is an oxymoron when you consider what transpired in the Kinkinzi West last election contention with James Muzinguzi who, by all indications, was bamboozled into surrendering the by-election--courtesy of a not-so-nice-man.Odiyahttp://odiyatalks.9hz.com
kasozi said at 10 Oct 2008, 17:04
Tegulle, stop this Mr Clean stuff.I remember some time back when the then Uganda Airlines was looking for an aircraft to buy or lease and a tribesman of his was in charge of that exercise, the tribesman confided in some of us how Mr clean was pestering him so much because he wanted the deal through some people he was fronting for.Perhaps this normal in Ug, but I am of the view that this was certainly not his cupatea at all.Then again, thats your Uganda!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Time for Mbabazi, Suruma to come clean

EDITORIAL

Following Thursday’s sensational disclosure by Mr David Chandi Jamwa that “immense” and “terrible pressure” was applied on him to close the now-controversial Shs11 billion NSSF land purchase deal, it is time for the ministers at the centre of this saga to own up.

Until now, Security Minister Amama Mbabazi and Dr Ezra Suruma of the finance ministry have waffled. While maintaining that they did not peddle political influence to land this deal, which is unlawful, they have protested their innocence.

Under oath when he appeared before the investigating House committee on September 11, Mr Mbabazi also denied having had any contact with the Fund. In fact, he said he left his associate, city businessman Amos Nzeyi to handle the entire transaction.

Now it appears that this may not be an entirely accurate account of what actually transpired. We have not officially heard Dr Suruma and Mr Mbabazi’s reaction to Mr Jamwa’s assertions so it would be unfair to take a position either way. But this is not to take away anything from the fact that this is a serious development.

If it is true the ministers lied under oath it could have far-reaching implications for their political careers. Secondly, the core of their defence has been that they did not peddle any political influence in order to get the Fund to buy more than 400 acres of land from Mr Mbabazi and Mr Nzeyi. Mr Suruma as line minister sanctioned the transaction.

Thursday’s revelations would seem to greatly undermine that defence and it brings the credibility of the ministers into further question.

The cat appears half way out of the bag. It is at times like this when it serves everybody’s interest that the whole truth comes out. The more than 250,000 workers in private employment who contribute to NSSF have a right to know how their life savings are being invested, the taxpayers who are paying for the time and effort being consumed by this investigation demand value for money, and the virtuous principle of accountable leadership requires that those in public service be prepared to be transparent.

The defenders of the Temangalo land purchase have made the sensible argument that by planning to put up a low cost housing estate (5,000 units) in this place, NSSF was making a sound business decision. On the face of it, this seems to be true. Uganda is facing a severe shortage in decent housing with Kampala alone requiring more than 60,000 units to meet demand as at 2006 estimates of the Uganda Bureau of Statistics.

The boom in the housing construction market is eloquent testimony to this. So why does Mr Jamwa have to be placed under all sorts of pressure to agree to what looks like a splendid idea?

In coming clean, Mr Mbabazi and Dr Suruma will help clarify this matter. 


‘Museveni worried’

CHRIS OBORE

Kampala

The NSSF-Temangalo scandal now in its eighth week as headline news appears to have finally gotten the full attention of President Yoweri Museveni.

Sunday Monitor has learnt that the scandal who one consequence has been to spark of a parallel contest pitting NRM’s Secretary General John Patrick Amama Mbabazi and Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi who is also a member of the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) has the President worried.

Top NRM figures like Local Government minister Kahinda Otafiire have also openly castigated Mr Mbabazi who they accused of allegedly posturing as ‘Mr Clean’.

Secondly, they also want Mr Mbabazi to swallow a bitter political pill because he allegedly has been back-stabbing colleagues before the President.

Now informed sources have tell Sunday Monitor, Mr Museveni has been quietly meeting confidants and top party cadres.


According to sources, Mr Museveni is worried that if the anti-Mbabazi group succeed, then his own political future wasn’t safe either.

This feeling, according to sources, was reportedly enhanced by the Mbabazi group who quietly impressed upon Mr Museveni that what was underway was much bigger and could end up at his (Museveni) door step.

Mr Museveni’s attention was drawn to the fact that all the senior politicians who are ranged against Mr Mbabazi had one time or the other expressed dissatisfaction with the President.

So the President decided to consult. One such consultation meeting took place on Friday from around lunch time to around 6p.m. between the President and his VP, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya at Parliament.

The VP reportedly gave cautious responses, most of the time restricting his answers to technicalities like ‘let us wait for the outcome of the probe committee’.

That answer will not have been as helpful for a President who it appears does not know how to react.


According to sources, Mr Museveni’s biggest concern is that “who is there in the party to become Secretary General if Mr Mbabazi is uprooted.”

Mr Museveni’s anxiety is reportedly fed by the fact that party chiefs like Brig. Matayo Kyaligonza, Lt. Gen. Moses Ali, Dr Crispus Kiyonga, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, Maj Gen. Muhwezi, Mike Mukula, Prof. Bukenya who would be the likely candidates, have in the past expressed desire for change of NRM leadership.



NSSF scandal: Jamwa spills more beans

CHRIS OBORE

Kampala

The National Social Security Fund never initiated the buying of Security Minister Amama Mbabazi and businessman Amos Nzeyi’s land in Temangalo as the two men have previously claimed, fresh details from Parliament show.

Instead, it was Mr Mbabazi and Mr Nzeyi who approached the NSSF and asked the Fund to buy the-more-than 400 cares of land, according to NSSF Managing Director David Chandi Jamwa.

Sunday Monitor has learnt that Mr Jamwa confessed to the parliamentary committee investigating possible influence peddling and price inflation in the deal that the sellers approached him saying “there is land we want to sell; you say you need land to build housing units so that you give us money”.

Three MPs who sit on Parliament’s Committee on State Enterprises, Commissions and Statutory Authorities separately revealed to Sunday Monitor what they said were details of Mr Jamwa’s testimony given in camera on Thursday.

According to them, Mr Jamwa said he had resisted the deal because it was a “bad one” but he gave in after immense pressure from his line minister, Dr Ezra Suruma, Mr Mbabazi and Mr Nzeyi, especially after they invoked President Museveni’s name.

This development is likely to intensify pressure on Dr Suruma who is facing accusations of proceeding with the Shs11 billion deal reportedly in disregard of public procurement laws.
Dr Suruma denies influencing things.

Under the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act, any transaction involving funds in excess of Shs100 million must be subjected to competitive bidding.

Mr Jamwa reportedly told MPs that the deal would have been concluded as early as late last year had it not been for his dogged attempts to resist the pressure.

“Amos Nzeyi approached me in October last year but I tried to use delaying tactics that is why the deal was done in March this year,” an MP quotes Mr Jamwa as having said. “They insisted that all they needed was money to bail their bank out.”

After sensing the determination of Mr Mbabazi and his group, Mr Jamwa told MPs, he tried another delaying tactic by writing to the solicitor general for legal advice hoping that the SG would point out some illegalities.

Mr Jamwa said he was aware of the procurement loopholes but needed the solicitor general to back him up.
“The solicitor general okayed the deal,” he reportedly said. “I was puzzled and had nothing to do.”

Mr Jamwa allgedly added: “Whenever I would table the matter before the board, they were always ready to pass it. What would I do?“

When Dr Suruma appeared before MPs recently, he admitted that some board members including chairman Edward Gaamuwa and Ms Joyce Acigwa were his partners in a microfinance firm. He, however, denied that he could influence their actions because of this relationship.

According to Mr Jamwa’s testimony, the pressure intensified when Dr Suruma, together with Mr Nzeyi, called him for a meeting on January 9, 2008 at Munyonyo during the launch of Warid Telecom.

In the Munyonyo meeting, Dr Suruma reportedly lectured Mr Jamwa for hours before finally hammering home the point by saying they needed the money to rescue their bank – the National Bank of Commerce (NCB).

Dr Suruma, who is a shareholder in the bank, reportedly said they needed Shs15 billion but Mr Jamwa responded that this was much money.

It has been reported that Dr Suruma and Mr Mbabazi were under pressure to raise money to buy out their Kenyan-Indian partners in NCB.

But speaking to yesterday before he addressed a news conference, Dr Suruma wondered why Mr Jamwa who had earlier said he was not under any pressure “has changed his story”.
The haggling between Mr Jamwa and his bosses continued until March when the deal was sealed.

“They even wanted me to put [the] money in their account before signing the sale agreement but I refused,” one MP quoted Mr Jamwa to have said. “They then asked that I first deposit Shs6.5 billion and I still resisted.”

Apparently, Mr Nzeyi and Mr Mbabazi had unsettled financial obligations with Tropical Africa Bank and they reportedly asked Mr Jamwa to write to that bank informing them that the Fund was still negotiating with the Mbabazis over their land as a way of getting that bank to ease the pressure it was piling on them.

When MPs reportedly asked Mr Jamwa why he had not come out earlier and why he did not reject the pressure, he reportedly answered that he was under incessant threats.
He told MPs that he asked to appear before them alone because he needed to confide in them.

That is why, according to sources, the probe committee chairman Johnson Malinga threw journalists out of the committee room.

In his testimony, Mr Jamwa said he had decided to open up following constant pressure from Dr Suruma to resign.
“Since the matter went bad, the minister has been on my case to resign,” he allegedly told MPs. “But I am a professional person; I don’t want my name to be spoilt.”

MPs say Mr Jamwa was on the brink of tears and was jumpy whenever the door to the meeting room opened. “Close that door,” Mr Jamwa reportedly kept begging MPs.

He said his life was in danger because unknown people were reportedly threatening him through emissaries and anonymous phone calls.

The NSSF boss refused to leave Parliament unless the MPs provided him security. The MPs, through the Speaker, gave Mr Jamwa three police officers: two to be stationed at his home and one to be his escort.

He told MPs that Dr Suruma would have by now sacked him had it not been for the fact that the NSSF Act still gives powers to the Gender, Labour and Social Development minister and not the Finance minister to sack him or the board.

The NSSF was transferred from the Labour and Social Development ministry to Finance in 2004 following yet another real estate scandal (the Nsimbe Estates misadventure that caused a Shs8 billion loss) but the law was not changed to give powers to the latter department.

Yesterday, Dr Suruma said “it is unfair to say I get involved in NSSF details. A minister does not have that time”.
This was in response to our query stemming from information gleaned from other sources that Dr Suruma appeared to have a more than casual interest in NSSF. He has never assigned a desk officer to help him monitor the Fund’s operations.
Dr Suruma said he saw nothing wrong with this.

“The idea of desks I know but very many matters come to me,” he said. “Sometimes I consult and sometimes I don’t. We don’t have desks for ADB, URA and others, why ask about NSSF?”
Dr Suruma said his interest was to save NSSF.

The minister also denied reports that they badly needed NSSF money in order to rescue their bank, saying, “I don’t need money for rescuing the bank.”