Parliament delays debate on shs 30 billion Covid-19 relief funds for teachers

Parliament passes shs 43 trillion draft Budget for FY 2022/23

Parliament suspended the debate on COVID-19 cash for teachers until the glitches reported during the government cash transfers in July 2021 are addressed.

The government through Parliament appropriated shs 53.5 billion relief targeting 500,000 vulnerable persons affected by the second Covid-19 lockdown.

However, the disbursement of the money was marred by corruption allegations.

This prompted the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita-Annet Among to direct the Public Accounts Committees on Central Governments and the Local Governments to scrutinize the list of beneficiaries for the COVID-19 relief funds and report back to Parliament.

But the Committees’ report has never been discussed on the floor of Parliament prompting the lawmakers to demand the report on how the Government relief cash distribution was handled.

The government allocated Shs 30bilion targeting 300,000 teachers in private and secondary schools across the country to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

CeciliaOgwal , the Dokolo Woman Representative argued that when MPs returned to their constituencies, they were shocked to learn that several beneficiaries missed out on the money, a mistake that must be avoided.

Gilbert Olanya, the Kilak South County MP in Amuru District also noted that the Government cash transfer was unsuccessful since the relief cash ended up in the pockets of Councillors and local government staff.

The Tororo Woman Member of Parliament, Sarah Opendi (NRM) then moved a motion that was seconded by Lillian Aber, the Kitgum District Woman MP and Wilfred Niwagaba, the Ndorwa County East MP to suspend the debate until the report by the Public Accounts Committees is presented.

Consequently, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anite-Annet Among deferred the debate to Thursday until the Public Accounts Committee presents the report to help the house make an informed resolution on the cash transfers.

While presenting a report to Parliament, Betty Amongi Ongom, the Minister of Gender Labour and Social Development, said that out of the targeted 300,000 teachers only 11,531 lists of beneficiaries from 1,433 schools had been submitted as of January 31, 2022.

The teachers eligible for this program must not be on the Government payroll; be duly registered or licensed by the Ministry of Education and Sports or have proof of submission of application for registration.

Furthermore, the teacher must have already been teaching in a school licensed or registered by the Ministry of Education and Sports and did not benefit from the June – September 2021 COVID-19 cash relief program and have an MTN or Airtel mobile money account registered in their name.

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