Home National High Court Dismisses Richard Byarugaba Case Against NSSF and Minister Amongi

High Court Dismisses Richard Byarugaba Case Against NSSF and Minister Amongi

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Richard Byarugaba

Former NSSF Boss Richard Byarugaba has seen his case against Gender Minister Betty Amongi and current NSSF boss, Mr. Patrick Ayota tossed out by the High Court Judge, Musa Ssekana. The case in which the former NSSF managing director had sought his reappointment was dismissed with no costs.

Mr Byarugaba had jointly sued the Gender Minister and the Attorney General saying that his not being reappointed was illegal. And maintained that he was supposed to be reappointed as the NSSF boss.

“The appointment of the 3rd respondent (Ayota) was an act involving the Minister of Labour, and Social Development as the Minister (Betty Amongi) responsible for the affairs of NSSF through reporting and exercising supervisory function after applying her mind to the exercise of power and followed the law as prescribed and should not be interfered with in absence of any justification or any breaches of the law,” the judge said.

In his ruling, Justice Ssekana said that his court can’t come to a conclusion of saying that there was abuse of office or misuse of power. Therefore it was allowed by the court that whatever decision the Fund made then was the best for the prevalent situation at the moment.

“This court cannot quash the appointment of the 3rd respondent which resulted from a recommendation of the Board. Such a decision would violate the principle of fairness and would amount to condemning the Board unheard in respect of their decision to appoint the 3rd respondent,” the judge held.

Furthermore, Ssekana said that there is the need to understand when the courts can intervene or refrain in the administrative issues. This is due to the fact that their constitutional role in judicial reviews is at times limited in their ability to decide on matters that allow non-generalized or objective determination.

In his suit, Richard Byarugaba wanted the Minister, Betty Amongi to reappoint him as the managing director of the NSSF. This is because it had been one of the recommendations of the board. His replacement, Mr. Ayota however argued that allowing the reappointment of Mr. Byarugaba would be against the public interests. This would in turn be disastrous for the Fund because it would have no strategic leadership.

“That the exercise of the Court’s discretion and the interests of justice favor the stability of the Fund as opposed to the unmeritorious cries of a single disgruntled person whose recommendation for appointment was rejected based on sound, legal and cogent reasons,” Mr. Ayota said.

Additionally, Mr. Ayota implored the entire process to make sure that whatever judgment it arrived upon, it should not entertain Byarugaba’s personal interests which were found unfit for him to lead the NSSF.

Ayota went ahead to argue that he was appointed on an interim basis because he had been excellent in his role as the deputy managing director. It was also upon this performance that he finally landed the managing director role.

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“I note that nothing in his (Byarugaba’s) affidavits or the annexures thereto impeaches my competence to be appointed as the managing director, NSSF,” stated Mr Ayota as dismissed Byarugaba’s allegations which he described as false, misleading and misrepresenting the actual circumstances pertaining to his appointment.