Former presidential candidate and Forum for Democratic Change(FDC) strongman, Dr.Kizza Besigye has scoffed at government for the shs100,000 allocated as Covid relief cash to Ugandans.
Government on Tuesday announced that it had identified a total of 501,107 households to each receive shs100,000 as covid relief.
The Minister for Gender, Betty Amongi said the shs100,000 will help households cater for the purchase of 20kg of posho at shs40,000, 10kg of beans for shs25000, a bar of soap at shs3000, a three-liter -jerrican of cooking oil for shs 12000 and the remaining shs20,000 to be used for other items at home.
However, addressing journalists on Wednesday said the shs100,000 is too little to cater for a family for a period of 42 days.
“How can you say that you are budgeting 20kg of posho for a family for 42 days. How can that work? Even that posho can’t deal with the needs of children,”Besigye said.
“Will the shs100, 000 pay their rent since the month has ended today? Why is it that no one is talking about families’ rent? Nobody is talking about the means the food will be cooked. We must have a better plan.”
Speaking about the same, Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago described the move as a gamble that he said was not well planned for.
“It should have been done countrywide because vulnerable people are not only in Kampala and the metropolitan area. We demand the money be increased to a reasonable sum to help a family to survive. The money is there. They can reallocate monies from sectors which are not so essential,”Lukwago said.
Whereas the Ministry of Gender listed 16 categories of people and that beneficiaries will be identified by town clerks and the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) , Lukwago laughed it off saying it is a joke.
He insisted that the area leaders should have been consulted for proper implementation since they know all the people who are in need of this relief.
“The list of beneficiaries is not exhaustive. We wonder how the Ministry of Gender came up with that list. The ministry is detached from the local leadership. None of the leaders are involved. UBOS doesn’t have enough manpower to generate a list of beneficiaries,”Lukwago said.
“This is a gamble and we are worried even the little money will not reach the intended beneficiaries. The date of July, 6, 2021 as a commencement date is not fair because by then, it will be two weeks since the lockdown was imposed. It is a total gamble and we express our worries.”
The Kampala Lord Mayor said this matter demands the urgent sitting of parliament to consider the idea of Covid relief so it is revisited to increase the money to each household but also to benefit the entire country.
However, according to the FDC strongman, it is high time Ugandans came together to help each other in these challenging times.
He said that those who can afford should help the vulnerable with some of the items they have in excess.
“We must help each other to survive since we are at war. At an individual level try and help your neighbor to the extent possible. We should innovate as private people to collect what we don’t need right now so we can give it to others to also survive. We can collect items and save others as we did to victims of mudslides and floods in Kasese,” Besigye said.
“The people who are holding public responsibility must urgently present to parliament a plan that is discussed by the country on how to get out of this terrible situation. The plan must provide for how our people whose lives have been destroyed can survive not only in the lockdown but even after.”