Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has confirmed that some of covid-19 relief beneficiaries from Tororo municipality and Mbale city were civil servants.
Following the fact-finding mission conducted early this week, the committee led by Kumi Municipality legislator, Mr Silas Augon, observed that many civil servants fluked the funds for vulnerable groups ranging from categories such as taxi drivers, conductors, boda boda riders, slum dwellers, street, and hair dressers.
According to PAC discoveries, it was observed that elderly women were registered as beneficiaries under the categories of boda boda riders and drivers.
For instance Rose Nabutiti, 86, was registered as a boda boda rider while Adnan Namaisi, 86, was classified as a musician yet the above are not.
“Many people who were not among the vulnerable categories were identified, registered and they received the money as genuine beneficiaries,” Mr Augon, said.
However, the Tororo Town Clerk, Mr Paul Omoko, told parliament Accounts Committee that municipal officials used the Emyooga database to identify beneficiaries.
“As district, we were allocated an indicative figure of 3,785 beneficiaries from different categories and only 84 were not paid because of a mismatch in names,” Mr Omoko said.
The Tororo District Woman MP, Ms Sarah Opendi, was also perplexed after discovering that Village Health Teams or VHTs were included amongst beneficiaries.
The city authorities led by the City Town Clerk David Kyasanku, the Resident City Commissioner Pamela Watuwa and the City Mayor Kassim Namugali also failed to explain to the PAC why the names on the list were not in the categories of beneficiaries prioritized by the government.
Among the people who benefited from the money were the village health team members and the support staff of Mbale City Council among others.
The MPs also questioned the age group and gender of some people who were categorized as food vendors and boda boda riders.
They cited one Debora Nandunga aged 85, Dickson Mushika 85, and Rose Nabutiti aged 86 categorized as boda boda riders and Abasi Mafabi aged 75, who was categorized as a food vendor in Mbale city
The Deputy Town Clerk of Mbale City, Kenneth Khatuli Woniaye, in a way of defending himself said that the list of the beneficiaries was compiled in a rush due to time constraints.