MPs want a review of special grant guidelines for PWDs                                                    

Members of Parliament representing people with disabilities have called for a review into the guidelines of the national special grant for PWDs to  include them as leaders at local government level.

The MPs say current guidelines exclude leaders of people with disabilities from most programs at local government level leaving the whole mandate to community development officers’, majority of whom are being transferred from time to time.

Speaking during  the Uganda National Disability Symposium, at Okole Primary School, Kole district on Friday Acan Joyce, the MP representing people with disabilities councilors of people with disabilities are left out  which gives room to community development officers (CDOs) to mishandle there programs since majority don’t know these people from the ground.

“We have observed that the guidelines of the national special grant don’t favour leaders of the people with disability. Leaders are excluded from most of the programs. The CDOs are moved every day and the new ones don’t know the people . These guidelines need to be corrected to involve the leaders of the people with disabilities,”Acan said.

She was speaking at the ahead of today’s International day for people with disabilities, with national celebrations in Kole district to be held today.

However, speaking in response, the commissioner in charge of people with disabilities and the elderly Prosper Muhumuza said the guidelines were based on regional and district based consultations.

He said that what agreed democratically was that the chairpersons of councils of persons with disabilities, should be the ones to approve the files and the councilors attended meetings that approved the same.

He however said government is open to reviews.

“I know we shall not satisfy everyone but we can do reviews. We are open to these reviews to ensure everyone is happy so long as the grants become impactful,”Muhumuza said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, the Minister of State for Disability Affairs Asamo Hellen Grace expressed concern over people with disabilities who misappropriate funds extended to them by  government through various programs

She said that  much as her ministry has successfully guided government to institute affirmative action for PWDS, with examples of special allocation under Emyooga, some beneficiaries have instead decided to eat off the money meant to revolve.

She said every constituency has received shs30 million for disabled people across the country but some decided to eat off the money instead of multiplying it.

She cited examples of PWD groups in Kole district where different groups shared the shs30million but up to date less than 500,000 has been recovered.

“Every constituency has shs30 million for people with disability as part of Emyooga program but for eastern and northern Uganda, people with disability have shared the money among themselves instead of multiplying it.”

The developments come as Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the international day for people with disability under the theme, ‘Leadership and mindset change. A tool for inclusive development.”

The Vice President, Jessica Alupo will preside over the celebrations in Kole later today, Saturday.

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