Uganda: System Rejects 87,000 Covid Cash Beneficiaries

ICT and National Guidance Minister Frank Tumwebaze told a press briefing in Kampala on Tuesday that the decision meant that Uganda's drive towards achieving a cashless economy remained on track.

By Damali Mukhaye

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja yesterday told Parliament that the government data system rejected details of 87,503 vulnerable people in the second verification exercise.

The rejected people had registered with the various municipal and city authorities across the country to benefit from the Shs100,000 Covid-19 cash relief for the people affected by the 42-day lockdown.

The ministry of Gender last week rejected the data of 174,000 Covid-19 cash beneficiaries and subjected them to verification. This means that a total of 86,497 people of the rejected 174,000 were verified by security and town clerks, cleared and paid.

"Of the 501,107 records submitted to the ministry, a total of 87,603 records did not pass the verification requirements by telecom database," Ms Nabbanja said.

The Prime Minister further disclosed that those rejected by the system had inconsistences in the names appearing on their National IDs, their telephone numbers were registered under different names and had not registered with mobile money.

"The failed numbers have been sent back to the cities and municipalities for correction before payment can be made. The town clerks have been trained and guided by the ministry on what to do," she said.

Ms Nabbanja revealed that the records of 413,504 beneficiaries had been submitted to Post Bank by 4pm on July 20 and paid, which represents 82.5 per cent. She added that they had so far paid out Shs41.4 billion of the Shs54.6 billion government had set aside for the exercise.

Ms Nabbanja yesterday submitted a detailed list of beneficiaries to the lawmakers as requested last week.

Deputy Speaker Anita Among directed the Public Accounts Committee to scrutinise the list of beneficiaries submitted by the Prime Minister and thereafter furnish the House with a detailed report and findings on the matter.

Leader of the Opposition Mathias Mpuuga, however, proposed that the government compiles data on the list of beneficiaries for future use. He also demanded that government expenditure on items meant to facilitate the Covid-19 fight be made public.

Government on July 6 started disbursing cash relief to people adversely affected by the lockdown.

Government identified 16 groups of beneficiaries, including drivers and conductors of buses and taxes, boda boda riders, slum dwellers, street vendors and bar attendants, among others. The 42-day lockdown ends next week on July 30 and it is not clear whether the President will lift it or extend it.

Asked whether cash relief will continue to be extended to other vulnerable people should the government extend the lockdown, the Gender ministry spokesperson, Mr Frank Mugabi, said such as a decision can only be made by Cabinet.

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