Mufti Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje has asked government to revise the current relief plan and distribute food instead of cash to vulnerable Ugandans.
“Government should reverse it(giving food) because it has not benefitted as many people as possible. Only a handful can testify to have received the money,”Mubajje said on Tuesday as Ugandans joined Muslims across the world to celebrate Eid Adhuha under lockdown.
Mubajje said with money, many people, especially those responsible for ensuring it reaches the beneficiaries could be tempted to get ways of swindling it, unlike the case with food.
“If it has to do with money, unscrupulous people come in for their own benefits. Government should do as it did last year. The army should take food to people’s homes and no one will say they missed. The money seems to have got lost in the mix.”
The Mufti’s comments come on the backdrop of comments by several other people who have expressed concerns over the Covid relief cash.
Government identified 500,000 beneficiaries who are people or homesteads in cities, towns and municipalities who were each supposed to get shs100,000.
Many of the intended beneficiaries said whereas their details had been submitted, they had not yet received the money.
Ministry of Gender officials attributed this to data that was not matching in their system.
The Uganda Human Rights Commission on Monday said the idea of giving cash to vulnerable Ugandans was discriminatory.
“There are concerns regarding the criteria for selecting the beneficiaries. The commission notes that the use of individuals or households interchangeably to describe categories of beneficiaries has caused ambiguity,” commissioner, Meddie Mulumba said.
He noted that if not clarified, there is a likelihood of some beneficiaries receiving the funds twice to the disadvantage of other vulnerable Ugandans.
“The commission is also concerned about the method of disbursement of the relief funds. Some vulnerable persons who don’t own a mobile phone or don’t have a National Identification Number(NIN) may miss out,” he said.
“Concerns have also been raised about beneficiaries whose NINs don’t correspond with their mobile money account details and who will have to access the funds through Post Bank mobile vans. Besides, some of the vulnerable persons dont have the technical ability to use electronic gadgets and may be susceptible to fraudsters when they seek assistance on accessing their funds.”