Some village chairpersons in Kampala have raised concern about the criterion and time allocated for identifying the beneficiaries of the COVID-19 relief fund from the government. They are worried that the criterion may live out many would-be beneficiaries.
Recently, the government announced the proposal to send Shs 100,000 to low-income earners in urban centers to support their families during the 42 lockdown period. In his statement, the Permanent Secretary in the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry tasked town clerks in different cities and municipalities to use the available information to identify the beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries are expected to provide their names, NIN number and mobile phone number they will use to receive the money. However, some of the village leaders in Kampala involved in the registration and verification of the beneficiaries, say the time allocated for displaying the lists was limited.
Bashir Mubiru, the chairperson of Wasswa Zone in Kibuye, says that he received lists from the office of the town clerk with over 483 names for verification. He, however, says that not even 30 people on the list are from his area.
“The time allocated for verification is limited and the lists we have received from town clerk have errors and ghost beneficiaries, government should consider giving more time,” he said
Mubiru says this prompted the KCCA team to order fresh registration area residents, which they started on Monday noting that about 1000 of the 3000 residents in the area fell under the vulnerable category, saying the single day allocated for the registration and verification isn’t sufficient.
Official registration of the beneficiaries started on Thursday June 1, 2021, led by the Town clerks, Community Development Officers and Labour Officers. Ronald Muze, the chairperson of Kivulu 1, says that he received instructions from the division town clerk on July 4 to register the beneficiaries and send the lists the same day.
He explains that his office was tasked to play the supervisory role while the VHT registers the beneficiaries with the wardens as administrators. According to Muze, his village is home to more than 10,000 people comprising Boda boda riders, car washers and roadside vendors who qualify for the relief fund.
Although the Gender, Labour and Social Development Ministry, says the registration targets to capture all intended beneficiaries, Muze says his pleas for the extension of registration were turned down by the Division Internal Security officer who are also part of the process.
Stephan Muhire, the LC 1 chairman Green Valley zone in Kamwokya, says that he was able to register 913 out of the 5000 people in his zone. Muhire explains that over 95% of the residents are Vulnerable and qualify for the COVID-19 relief fund but he is unable to reach all of them because of the limited time.
Darwin Ssebaduka, the LC I chairperson of Kitamanyangamba zone in Kagugube Parish Kampala central also noted that his people were never alerted about the registration exercise, which made many miss out. Ssebaduka says that only 400 out of the over 900 people who fell under the specified category managed to register during the specified time.
Those in charge of disbursing the COVID-19 relief fund plan to send the money today. Daniel Niwabiine, the KCCA spokesperson, where the data was submitted for verification, asked the LC I chairperson to stop lamenting, saying they given the chance to participate in the process.
Frank Mugabi, the spokesperson Ministry of Gender, Labour and social development said that they would verify the data on a first-come, first-serve basis.