The Town Clerk of Entebbe Municipality, Charles Magumba says his office has submitted a list of 6,000 people to benefit from the COVID-19 relief fund.
The Fund under the Office of the Prime Minister will see over 530,000 vulnerable people across the country receive shillings 100,000 each.
Magumba says bar operators, massage workers, taxi conductors and drivers, boda boda riders among others have been selected from within Entebbe municipality.
As a result, OPM will release a total of shillings 600,000 million for the vulnerable people in Entebbe. Beneficiaries will have to wait longer however due to pending verification by internal security organs and approval from OPM.
Magumba says his office registered the vulnerable people by sending town agents to the 24 villages of Entebbe municipality to confirm and verify details of the people in the target categories.
Official statistics from the 2014 Census indicate that the municipality has a population of 79,500. The municipality hosts Entebbe International Airport, State House, various security installations and government departments. It however also hosts several tourist and leisure sites such as botanical gardens, beaches among others. Therefore business largely depends on the traffic at the airport.
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Magumba says that though village chairpersons have complained of being locked out of the registration process, he says they are not needed because his office has records of all residents and workers in the municipality.
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He explained further that his office worked closely with association leaders for most of the categories to compile the list of beneficiaries. Also, town agents and security officers moved to every identified household to confirm if people on the list stay in the various villages of Entebbe.
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Jackson Sserubidde, the Chairman Airport Taxi Services Cooperative Society Ltd, says leaders submitted a list of 200 taxi drivers, operators and support to the office of the town. There are 240 registered airport taxis. However, an average of 50 taxis carry passengers daily to and from the airport due to low volume of passenger traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before the outbreak of COVID-19 Entebbe Airport used to handle about 4,000 passengers daily. However, since October 2020, the numbers are between 1,400 to 2,500 per day.
Meanwhile, Richard Kiyaga, the Vice Chairperson of Entebbe Liberty Taxi Operators Association Limited, says the association submitted a list of 4,000 people who include guides, conductors and drivers who ply the Kampala-Entebbe route.
Registration has been going on at Entebbe Municipal Council offices and Division B offices in Kitooro. However, the exercise was closed on Thursday evening at the municipal council offices while that at Division B ended at 12pm. However, dozens of people turned up at both venues for registration.
Molly Nambuya and Aisha Namono were turned away at Entebbe Municipal Council offices on Friday afternoon. Both are widows who reside in Kakeeka village. Namono says some of the group leaders are selfish and will only submit names of people in their cliques and therefore some genuine beneficiaries will be left out.
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Meanwhile at Division B offices, over 50 people were turned away because they arrived after 10am. However, 30 people who say they turned up before 10am, were also not registered because the officials said the municipal council team told them that the list is full and therefore no new entrants can be added.
As a result, dozens of people including breastfeeding mothers, the elderly, persons with disabilities and bar workers left the centre disappointed and angry.
They say that LC I chairpersons should have also communicated to residents about the registration cnetres and the time frame.
However, Ssali Magwa, the spokesperson for Democratic Party in Entebbe Municipality says political leaders were left out of the exercise.