Minister to Follow up on City Dwellers who Missed Covid19 relief Funds

HOIMA – The Minister of State for Bunyoro Affairs, Jennifer Kaacha Namuyangu has promised to follow up on the people who missed out on the Covid-19 relief cash.

The Government through the Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development [MGLSD] have earmarked Shs 53 billion to support various categories of vulnerabilities in cities and municipalities across the country. Under this program, each household was allocated Shs100, 000.

The Minister on Tuesday afternoon stormed Hoima City to investigate if the guidelines were followed during the registration of the beneficiaries.

During the meeting held at the City head offices, the Minister tasked the Accounting Officers and City leaders to explain the criteria that were used to select the beneficiaries.

She was also assessing whether the beneficiaries were selected from the recommended categories of groups that the government had recommended such as boda-boda riders, salon operators, and others whose work was either totally stopped or restricted to a certain level to reduce the spread of Covid19.

The Minister further queried the number of people who missed out on the funds and the reasons why they missed among others.

Reacting to the queries, the Hoima City Deputy Mayor, Sylvia Nalumaga told the Minister that 114 people missed out on the relief funds saying 9,346 out of the 9,460 targeted beneficiaries received the funds.

According to Nalumaga, the City registered approximately 20,000 people but their target was 9,460 adding that 114 were missed because of mismatching information of their particulars.

We had a problem of mismatching information, whereby some phones were registered in different names, invalid NINs, and the number of people who turned up for registration was beyond the targeted number.

The Hoima City Town Clerk, Innocent Ahimbisibwe said, a few of the guidelines were not followed as a result of limited time.

He says, they were supposed to display names of beneficiaries and making verifications before getting the money but it was not possible due to the limited time that was allotted to them during the process.

He added that the exercise was successful though they had some challenges and advised that next time, the government should give enough time to the people on ground when implementing similar programs

Minister Namuyangu commended the leadership of Hoima City for following the right procedures. She promised to table the list of those who missed out on the money to the Ministry of Gender to ensure that they can be considered.

“I have taken the report and we are going to see what to do because these were budgeted for though the information they submitted was not corresponding” she called on all those who received the money to come out and tell the truth instead of denying that they did not receive the money.

The Hoima Resident City Commissioner [RCC], Samuel Kisembo commended the government for the initiative saying the method used in identifying the beneficiaries was appropriate compared to that of supplying food.

He explained that the method used when supplying food had so many challenges such as lack of facilitation and transport, adding that they ended up using their own money to reach the beneficiaries.

The minister’s concerns come after the Local Government Accounts Committee of Parliament visited Hoima City last week and also questioned the City officials how the Covid19 relief cash was paid.

The lawmakers led by the Committee Chairperson, Basil Batalingaya Rwankwene questioned how Shs 8 million meant to facilitate the beneficiary Enumerators was used, verification of double payment reports, how the beneficiaries were selected, and how stakeholders were engaged among others.

Innocent Ahimbisibwe, the Town Clerk for Hoima City told that committee that the Shs 8 million allowances were divided into two by the divisions with each receiving Shs 4 million to facilitate its Enumerators and data entrants.

However, the Committee directed that all the beneficiaries be displayed at different notice boards for transparency and confirmation.

Batalingaya said the investigations are going; so continue verifying cases of double payment for some beneficiaries adding that anyone who will be found to have connived to mismanage the Covid19 relief funds will be punished.


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