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Gov't COVID-19 Relief Fund to Delay for Another Week-Minister Engola

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Lillian Aber, the Kitgum Woman MP asked Government to negotiate with Telecoms to waive the withdraw charges so that the beneficiaries receive the entire sum of Shillings 100,000. She also raised complaints about ghost names on the Government list.
Vulnerable Ugandans will get 100,000 shillings each

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Households counting on the government COVID-19 relief fund will have to wait for another week to allow for the verification of their data. The government announced proposals to disburse Shillings 100,000 to at least 520,000 in 41 municipalities and 10 cities to help them go through the 42-day lockdown announced to stop the spread of the second wave of COVID-19.  

The Government earmarked Shillings 53 billion for this exercise.  On Monday, the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabanjja said they would start the disbursement on Thursday, July 8th, 2021. However, the government says that the lists of the beneficiaries are not ready.  Statistics from the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development show that only 60,000 names of the beneficiaries from various municipalities and cities had been submitted by 1:00 pm on Wednesday.  

A team of officials from the Ministry led the Labor Employment and Industrial Relations State Minister; Charles Engola disclosed this while appearing before the COVID-19 Taskforce for Parliament on Wednesday.  

Emmanuel Yeka, the Information Communications and Technology Officer from Gender Ministry said that they are aggregating the data submitted by town clerks based on location, sex, nature of work and match the telephone numbers and national ID Numbers.    

//Cue in: “48,557 and it…

Cue out:… purposes of integrity”//  

When asked by the committee on the register or list that will be used to disburse the funds, Engola said that they are currently processing the data before they compile it in a week’s time and display the lists for verification before they start paying out the money.  

//Cue in: “We shall have…  

Cue out:…by the display,”//

The Committee chair Abdu Katuntu tasked the Ministry to submit a written report with an updated status of the names they have received so far and if they have been displayed so that members of Parliament can verify from the ground.

//Cue in: “By end of…  

Cue out:…of business today,”//

During the meeting, MPs raised concerns in regards to the integrity of the list and how it was generated. They also questioned why the town councils were left out of the COVID-19 relief package since they fall under urban centers.   The MPs were also concerned that Shillings 4 million allocated to each of the 40 administrators in the Municipalities and cities is huge, looking at the fact that the beneficiaries will only receive Shillings 100,000.    

Lillian Aber, the Kitgum Woman MP asked Government to negotiate with Telecoms to waive the withdraw charges so that the beneficiaries receive the entire sum of Shillings 100,000. She also raised complaints about ghost names on the Government list.

“We have a national single registry, why not use it? I am worried about the ghost regististration because of the manual way you are collecting data. Can we also negotiate on the withdrawal charges and talk to telecoms not to deduct their loans from vulnerable Ugandans who borrowed?” she said.



The Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) Representative, Victoria Nekesa asked the Ministry of Gender why no relief aid was given to sex workers. “Could you consider Shanita Namuyimba’s group because last time and now they rely on daily income but now that they call out for help because they survive on daily income and now that they can’t be given chance to go on streets freely. I request the Ministry to consider the Bad Black group.”

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