The government has continued to out stringent measures to the Shs100,000 expected to be given as relief to the vulnerable poor.
According to the Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Henry Musasizi, money will be subject to another criterion before hitting people’s phones next week.
“By next week, people will begin getting their money. First of all, you must have a NIN and a telephone line which agrees with the NIN number,” Musasizi said.
He said that mostly the beneficiaries would be those who had been impacted by the lockdown, unlike those who have not been working prior to the lockdown.
“Before the lockdown, you were not working, even during the lockdown, you aren’t. You are not our target, maybe you may get the money by chance,” he said.
Musasizi stated that the government had delayed in crediting the vulnerable due to problems finding the source of the money.
“First of all, we didn’t have the money, we had to look for it. Option one was to borrow, we evaluated it and established it was not attainable because we are already indebted and crossed the borrowing ceiling,” he said.
“Another option was budget cuts across the board and we have cut travels. The result of all these interventions will give us UGX 600 billion and straight away, Shs300 billion will go to finance COVID-19 emergencies,” he added.
The Democratic Party President General Norbert Mao called upon the government to release a list of beneficiaries in order to relax the tensions amongst the people.
“We are on day 12 of the lockdown, up to now the Minister can’t point where the money is going. Most people are paralyzed waiting for what the cabinet and the President are going to say. The preliminary list of the beneficiaries should be out,” he said.
Regarding the comments
He also advised that government could make use of the database put together during the campaign period to make it easy in rationing the money.
Mao supported the idea of government selecting recipients based on the criterion of productivity-viz- Covid-19 impact, urging that some people are “unworthy”.
“There are worthy poor and the unworthy poor. That tough love is also good from the government. If you sleep up to midday, you are unworthy poor,” he said.
Dr. Fred Muhumuza, an economist called on the government to review the process of NIN across each phone number, arguing that grassroots political structures would help identify vulnerable people whose numbers are not registered across their NINs.