Deputy Speaker Anita Among has directed the Public Accounts Committees on Central Government and Local Government to scrutinize the list of COVID-19 relief fund beneficiaries presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja.
Last week, MPs demanded that the Prime Minister lays on the floor of Parliament a list of all COVID-19 relief fund beneficiaries following complaints from several vulnerable groups of people that they had not received the funds. Government undertook a verification exercise of the 501,107 vulnerable people in Kampala Metropolitan Area, all cities and municipalities who were supposed to benefit from over Shs50billion relief fund to cushion them from the effects of the biting pandemic and current lockdown.
In the Wednesday plenary, PM Nabbanja laid the list of the beneficiaries prompting Deputy Speaker Among to order PAC to scrutinize the list and report to the House as soon as possible. According to Nabbanja, as of 20th July 2021, a total of 413,504 beneficiary records had been submitted to Post Bank and paid.
In her report to Parliament, Nabbanja revealed that government met a few hiccups in handling the registration and verification process such as field submissions. Apparently, out of the total of the 400,079 records submitted to the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, a total of 150,915 records were not successfully verified against Telecom databases due to inconsistencies in registration such as beneficiaries registering telephone numbers not registered for Mobile Money and beneficiaries with telephone numbers that are not registered with the Telecom Companies, among others.
In response to the Prime Minister’s statement, Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga said that government needs to develop a resurgence plan to resuscitate the economy. He further urged government to extend support to private health facilities in form of incentives such as tax waivers on utilities, deployment of medical personnel, joint procurement of drugs and supply of oxygen in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.