Angry Village Chairpersons in Kibuku District have on Tuesday besieged the office of the resident district commissioner demanding to know why their Covid 19 allowances were deducted.
Over 100 chairpersons from different sub-counties of Kibuku Town Council, Buseta, and Kadama raided the office, chanting riot songs denouncing virtual corruption that has riddled the district.
Mbulalina Ibrahim, chairperson Kadama cell in Kadama Town Council vowed to camp at the district until the whereabouts of Shs30,000 deductions are explained to them thoroughly.
‘’We are here demanding to know circumstances under which, why and how our Covid 19 allowance was reduced from Shs200,000 to Shs170,000 and others from Shs200,000 to Shs130,000’’ he said.
Mr. Festo Muluga, chairperson of Nalado Buseta sub-county said each village chairperson was meant to sign for Shs200,000 as indicated in the form but to their surprise, the officers told them to sign for Shs170,000.
The LCs said the district officials duped them to open up bank accounts in order to receive the money but they were shocked to be called later to receive cash.
Other LCs said officials were threatening to strike off their names from the well-guarded pay list should they report the matter to the relevant authorities.
Mr. Semei Aramazan from Midiri village in Buseta sub-county said they faced several challenges during the induced second 42 lockdown persuading residents to observe the SOPS and ministry of health guidelines as residents believed that there was no Covid but it’s unfortunate that the district decided to appreciate their efforts in that manner.
He said he doesn’t know why the health officials decided to reduce their money adding that this translates to thuggery that has dogged the district for several years
Kibuku district received about Shs312m from Government to facilitate various Covid 19 activities in the district and LCs and VHTs were some of the listed beneficiaries of these monies.
Every village was allocated Shs400,000 as Covid 19 facilitation from the government where the chairperson and his council were expected to receive Shs200,000 and 2 VHTS each to get Shs200,000 totaling to Shs400,000 per village.
The LCs said despite their dedicated service, the district officials mistreat them especially when it comes to monetary issues
‘’We receive peanuts as facilitation despite our relentless efforts but it’s frustrating that the same little money is deducted by our leaders who are paid a lot of money for doing nothing in their offices’’ the LCS said
Kibuku District Local Government curved away from Pallisa district on 1st July 2010, Currently has 405 villages,22 sub-counties including five town councils.
The Resident District Commissioner Kikomeko Mwanamoiza who doubles as the chairperson of the District Covid 19 task force, while sweating profusely during the crisis meeting to restore calm at the teacher’s resource block, appealed to the irate chairpersons for calm as she investigates the matter to its logical conclusion.
She pledged to follow up the matter and bring to book officials implicated in the dubious deal to account for their actions.
She used the same chance to urge the teachers to embrace vaccination saying the district received several doses of vaccines meant for teachers.
Dr. Godfrey Buyinza the District Health Officer when contacted acknowledged the illegality saying the money had been deducted as bank charges adding that the error has been rectified and money will be refunded to all the affected persons starting this week.
Dr. Buyinza rallied teachers to get ready for vaccination starting on Thursday saying the district received 1,799 doses of Sinovac and 1,928 AstraZeneca respectively.
Haji Mohammad Nakebba the District Chairperson ordered the officials to stop any deductions and directed for full payment of all the affected chairpersons in all the sub-counties henceforth.
The Pandemic has put out of action 36 people cumulatively.
Crying foul for their emoluments is not something new for the LCs and VHTs across the north Bukedi subregion districts of Pallisa, Kibuku, Butebo, and Budaka.