Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee-Local Government has recommended a forensic audit of the 53 Billion Shillings COVID-1 relief cash.
This is after the committee chaired by Bar dege- Layibi MP Martin Ojara Mapenduzi uncovered gross irregularities.
The joint parliamentary team, comprising the Public and Local Government Accounts committees was tasked to review a list of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 relief cash, which was tabled before parliament by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja last month.
Under the initiative, the government distributed 100,000 Shillings to 501,107 selected beneficiaries who were classified as vulnerable during the 42-day lockdown.
Although some of the vulnerable persons meant to get the funds included taxi drivers and conductors, Boda Boda riders, cargo loaders, saloon operators, waiters and waitresses, small scale business owners and slum dwellers among others.
However, reports from different parts of the country emerged that some of the people who received the funds were not the intended beneficiaries. They included officials like Mayors, councillors, sub-county chiefs and town agents among others.
According to information from the committee, the team is recommending a forensic audit on how the relief cash was distributed, the beneficiaries, the selection criteria of the municipalities and cities.
“One of the key concerns is how some areas benefited, for instance, we know that Kakumiro town council is not among the listed urban centres meant to benefit, but people there got money. The money simply went to areas where key people, politicians running the process hail from” a member of the committee said.
The member also said that it was discovered that 3 Billion Shillings was used to send the money to the beneficiaries. He adds that there were several other urban centres meant to receive the COVID-19 relief cash, but did not benefit.
The committee in its draft report is also indicating that those who irregularly benefited from the funds should refund the money and face disciplinary action.
The committee is expected to finalize its report next week before it is presented to Members of Parliament.
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