Geoffrey Oloya, a bodaboda rider from Gulu, on Thursday morning became the first beneficiary of the government Covid relief cash to vulnerable Ugandans.
Government recently identified 16 groups of people from cities and municipalities in various parts of the country to receive the shs100,000 to be given to each person as Covid relief after being affected by the lockdown.
On Thursday morning, the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja officiated at the launch of the disbursement exercise for the funds.
“This is the Prime Minister of Uganda. Have you received the money?” Nabbanja asked as she called the first beneficiary of the exercise.
“I have received shs102,425 right honorable,” Oloya who was beaming with joy said in response.
The Prime Minister randomly sampled over five other beneficiaries whose covid relief cash had been sent to either their Airtel or MTN mobile money accounts as part of the launch of the exercise.
However, a number of them had their phones switched off whereas for others, because of network problems, they could not be reached.
Speaking at the function held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala, Nabbanja who was flanked by fellow ministers on the national task force said she hopes the exercise will move smoothly.
“I believe 50% of Ugandans will receive their money today and others will receive as we go along. We shall tell you when the rest of Ugandans will get. On behalf of government as Prime Minister of Uganda, I declare this exercise of Covid relief fund launched,” she said.
The Prime Minister, however, warned that government will later declare when the exercise will be closed.
By Wednesday afternoon, only Entebbe, Kira and Gulu municipalities had been able to partially finish the process and submit part of the lists of their beneficiaries.
The Ministry of Gender on Wednesday said that whereas some areas are still undertaking validation of the lists, for those that have submitted to the ministry, the beneficiaries will receive their relief starting today.
“This will be a continuous process through next week. But we will ensure to reach as many people that need the fund as is.”
Government named bus and taxi drivers plus conductors; baggage carriers, touts, wheelbarrow pushers, traffic guides and loaders in tax and bus parks, stages and other areas like Kikuubo.
The minister said that government will also send covid relief cash to barmen, DJs, barmaids, waiters, waitresses and bouncers, gym and restaurant workers, food vendors in tax, bus parks and arcades, musicians, comedians, producers, promoters, salon and massage parlour employees, teachers and support staff in both government and private schools but are not on payroll, car washers, slum dwellers, street vendors, shoe shiners, orphans and vulnerable children.
Over 500,000 households are targeted in this exercise.