Firestorm in Parliament Over Covid-19 Relief Cash

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A section of opposition legislators have bashed the Government for allocating small sums of money as COVID-19 relief to vulnerable citizens in the Kampala Metropolitan Area which is widely considered the epicenter of pandemic.

“Nakawa located in Kampala city which is the epicenter of COVID-19 has quite a number of vulnerable and poor families. We have over 200,000 vulnerable families but only 27, 892 were identified to benefit from Covid money. I don’t know the parameter that was used to identify those people,” said Nakawa East’s Ronald Balimwezo (NUP).

Worse still, he claimed a significant number of vulnerable people were yet to access a penny.

Balimwezo was joined by his Nakawa West counterpart Joel Ssenyonyi (NUP) who similarly pointed out that only a half of 27,600 people have accessed these funds despite the programme coming to a halt.

According to a Report tabled by Nabbanja; as of yesterday 413,504 vulnerable citizens out of a projected 501,107 had received their share of one hundred thousand shillings each.

Going by the above figure, Ushs 41.3 billion representing 82% of the Ushs 51.3 billion resource envelope has so far been disbursed.

“A total of 87,503 records did not pass the verification requirements by Telecom Databases due to the following reasons; invalid National lD Numbers, Telephone numbers registered under different names from the National lD names, Non-existent/Unregistered Telephone numbers and Non-Mobile Money registered numbers (At payment level by Bank)” Nabbanja elaborated.

“The failed numbers have been sent back to the Cities/municipalities for correction before payment can be done. The town clerks have been guided and trained by the Ministry of Gender and NITA-U on what to do,” she added.

Her comments however drew the ire of Leader of Opposition (LoP) Mathias Mpuuga who also questioned the validity of her figures.

“Last year, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics established that Uganda has 5.11 million vulnerable workers. Unfortunately, the same institution has been pressured to consent and facilitate registration of only 501,107 vulnerable workers. This means that 90% of vulnerable workers are excluded from the relief intervention,” Mpuuga fired back.

“The Prime Minister rightly observed that globally there is no perfect system and I want to agree with her statement. But unfortunately, Ugandans don’t subscribe to a global system, they subscribe to their taxes, to the Government of Uganda and that Government should respond without referring us to other jurisdictions. Because if you compared with what other Governments have done, the Prime Minister would throw in the towel tomorrow,” he summed.

He was joined by Soroti Woman Member of Parliament (MP) Anna Adeke Ebaju (FDC)who accused security especially Gombolola Internal Security Organization (GISO) personnel for selectively registering some individuals belonging to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) in her constituency.

These were joined by Nyabushozi County legislator Wilson Kajwengye who called for the fast tracking of such robust programmes to avoid leaving out the needy.

ChimpReports understands that the Parliamentary Covid-19 Task Force Report shall be laid before the August House next week on Thursday.

Source – ChimpReports

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