NAIROBI, October 21 – Labour Minister John Munyes is drafting amendments to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Act to give the government greater control of the Fund.,
Mr Munyes told Parliament on Tuesday that the amendments would prevent a further loss of funds citing the fact that NSSF had already been exposed to a loss of close to Sh5 billion through phoney dealings at the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
“We need to amend some clauses to this Act to give enough control to the government so that in future we don’t loose this kind of money,” he said.
The Minister told the House that he had not been consulted by the NSSF Board on any of the questionable transactions. Neither was the Treasury fully involved yet the Financial Secretary sits on the board, Mr Munyes said.
Ikolomani MP Dr Bonny Khalwale accused the NSSF Board of using the Act to cover up corrupt deals adding that the current law closed doors to professionals who could otherwise have advised the Fund and avert such huge losses.
Dr Khalwale demanded the Minister to explain what his Ministry was doing to ensure members of the disbanded board did not make it back.
Mr Munyes said he would ask the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) and the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) to nominate new names for consideration to the new board.
“FKE and COTU must be represented. Now that we have a problem with those heads who were represented that time, I will tell them that I need fresh names because these ones were implicated,” he said.
His remarks were a clear indication of a new tussle between the ministry and COTU which earlier on Tuesday announced that it would boycott the board.
“We are not going to nominate anybody and that board’s operation is going to be paralysed. So the minister is not off the hook yet,” COTU Assistant Secretary General George Odiko threatened.
Mr Munyes also told the House that he had asked the Kenya Anti- Corruption Commission to investigate the former board chairman Samuel Muinde, who was at the helm in 2001.
The Minister appealed to the MPs to support him to ensure all those responsible for the loss of about Sh5 billion were brought to book.
“Let me appeal to the House to support my actions to secure the savings of the hardworking Kenyans, I am also requesting any MP with information regarding NSSF to bring it forward,” he said.
Grand Regency report
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee on Finance has filed a motion for the adoption of a report of its probe into the controversial sale of the Grand Regency Hotel.
In the report the committee censured former Finance Minister Amos Kimunya and Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Professor Njuguna Ndungu.
The committee accused Mr Kimunya of giving false information to the committee regarding the sale of the hotel, adding that he should not be reappointed as a minister.
Prof Ndung’u was accused of failing to ensure the hotel was sold competitively which the 11 member committee termed to be an illegal procedure.
The committee also said it established there was lack of communication and coordination between government organs during the sale.
Still in Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi said the government was amending the Local government Act to formalise the upgrading of the Municipal Council of Kisumu to a City.
Kisumu was named a city in 2001 and Mombasa in 2002 by former President Daniel Moi. However the current law does not recognise them as cities.