Henry Musasizi, the State Minister for Finance revealed the figures while appearing before a joint meeting of the Public Accounts and the Local Government committees of Parliament which is reviewing a list of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 cash, which was tabled before parliament by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja last month.
spent a total of 2.854 billion Shillings on administrative costs to send COVID-19 relief cash to vulnerable Ugandans.
Henry Musasizi, the State Minister for Finance revealed the figures while appearing before a joint meeting of the
Public Accounts and the Local Government committees of Parliament which is reviewing a
list of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 cash, which was tabled before parliament
by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja last month.
Under the initiative,
the government has been distributing 100,000 Shillings to selected people
classified as vulnerable during the 42-day lockdown which ended on Friday. The
beneficiaries were identified from groups of people that depend on daily
earnings in Kampala, all Cities, and Municipalities.
The 501,107 targeted
beneficiaries included bus or taxi drivers, conductors, Baggage
carriers, wheelbarrow pushers, touts, traffic guides, Barmen, DJ's, barmaids,
waiters and bouncers, Bar, gym and restaurant workers, bodaboda riders,
special hire drivers and Uber drivers, Salons, massage parlour workers, teachers,
Musasizi, says that
the Ministry of Finance had an approved COVID-19 emergency funding amounting to
53.5 billion Shillings for which, they requested the Ministry of Gender, Labour
and Social Development in a letter dated July 2, 2021, to formally
submit a request and a work plan for the interventions to be
Musasizi said that on the basis of the formal
request by the Ministry of Gender, the treasury requested the Auditor General to allow supplementary expenditure
for a number of votes which included limits of 53.5 billion Shillings to the Ministry
of Gender and the warrants were submitted on Integrated Financial Management System
(IFMS) on July 7 2021.
Musasizi told MPs
that out of this budget, a total of 2.854 billion
Shillings was spent on administrative costs including mobile money transfer
costs. A sum of 50.645 billion Shillings was transferred to the Ministry of Gender
account in Post Bank to facilitate direct transfers to the beneficiaries.
submission, Ojara Martin Mapenduzi, the Chairperson of the Local Government Accounts Commitee tasked the Minister to avail them with a breakdown
of the 2.854 billion administrative costs and whether this was cheaper than
what the government spent on the distribution of food during the 2020 lockdown. The same was also raised by Fred Opolot, the Pingire County MP.
//Cue in; “2.8
Cue out…the transfer
Mawokota North MP Hillary Kiyaga also questioned whether the mobile money
companies charged the government using the normal rates or they provided a
discount. He said that 2.8 billion seems to be a higher cost of the number of transactions.
//Cue in; “the administrative
Cue out...save any
appealed to the Committee to give him more time. This request was accepted by the joint committee
leadership which gave him until Wednesday to provide details of the administrative
costs in writing.
Lubega Sseggona, the Chairperson of the Public Accounts commitee asked Musasizi to
explain why the government opted for cash transfers as opposed to food relief and
how the Ministry of Finance arrived at the figure of 53.5 billion Shillings for
//Cue in; “now where
Cue out…in charge of
defended the government decision to provide cash instead of food relief saying
that the experience with the food distribution exercise last year was not good
since in some places there was under delivery, food stolen and that this was
more expensive since the targeted beneficiaries for food were less.
//Cue in; “we wanted
Cue out…in food
He also said that the
Ministry does not have more money to avail vulnerable people unless another
supplementary budget is availed by parliament.