Workers’ MP Sam Lyomoki has pitched camp at parliament protesting speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s delay to pass the National social Security Fund (NSSF) bill.
The MP has since carried his mattress, mosquito net and other essential needs to parliament where he will stay until his plea is heard.
On 26th August 2020, Kadaga ruled that the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Amendment Bill, 2019 will be considered in the next two weeks. The two weeks elapsed this week and the bill has not been debated.
On 27th August, the MP was captured in a series of pictures sleeping in his suite, bags aside and without any beddings. He decided to sleep at parliament after Kadaga adjourned the plenary session abruptly after Lyomoki had staged a protest.
The Bill seeks to enhance the spectrum of benefits available to workers and to improve management of the NSSF. The current law was enacted in 1985 and does not adequately address emerging challenges in the management of social security in Uganda.
The movers of the bill claim that the Act in its current state does not make express provision for the representation of workers, employers and other stakeholders on the board of directors. The appointment of the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director by the Minister without the role of the board undermines the ability of the board to supervise them.
Further, although it is in the best interest of all employees to save for retirement, the Act currently gives the Minister discretion to determine the category of employees who are eligible to contribute for their retirement.
Currently, only workers in a company that employs five or more employees are eligible to contribute for their retirement which contradicts Paragraph VII of the National Objectives of Directive Principles of State Policy under the Constitution, the ILO Convention 102 on social security and the Social Protection Policy 2015 which all call for social security coverage of all persons regardless of the number of their employees.
“The Act provides for taxation of contributions and Schreyer income which does not promote the culture of domestic long term savings that is critical for sustained economic transformation,” the movers noted.