Pm Nabbanja with mobile money relief
Prime Minister Nabbanja promises to give mobile money to the vulnerable Ugandans during the lockdown, not food. PHOTO/ ALEX ESAGALA

Robinah‌ ‌Nabbanja said the government will distribute cash tokens through mobile money instead of food items as a COVID-19 relief to vulnerable groups.

The newly-appointed prime minister, Robinah Nabbanja has said that as a COVID-19 relief to the vulnerable groups, the government will issue out cash tokens through mobile money instead of food items like they did last year. 

Nabbanja made the remarks over the weekend while announcing the government’s relief plan at the Office of the Prime Minister. She said they will not allow any physical food distribution because these are time-consuming and very cost-effective.

“After the COVID-19 Taskforce meeting, we have agreed and decided that any support that will be provided to the persons most affected by the lockdown measures will be through cash tokens and not physical food distribution,” Nabbanja said.

Last year during the first lockdown in March, the government distributed posho and beans to vulnerable groups of up to 1.5 million people in areas of Kampala and Wakiso. 

The exercise to many Ugandans was not only slow but non-effective since some groups were left out in the distribution.

Statistics from the Office of the Prime Minister indicated that at least 855,281 residents in Kampala who desperately needed food were served however, a big number of Ugandans decried that the figures were only tabulated and not based on facts.

Responding to a question from journalists about how they hope to affect the proposed initiative, the prime minister raised that cash delivery through mobile money is not only efficient but also cost and time-saving. 

Nabbanja revealed that the procedure is even one that can help limit corruption tendencies witnessed last year during food relief deliveries.

Cash relief distribution via Mobile Money would be efficient, cost and time saving but has 2 drawbacks: 1. Assumes fairness and transparency in selection criteria of beneficiaries; 2. Assumes all beneficiaries have both MM registered line and NIN. These are big assumptions.” Nabbanja added.

Meanwhile, she condemned the abuse of government property following a video of a police officer that made rounds on social media of him using a police van to ferry members of the public after a government ban on public transport.

The officer identified as Christopher Opio was captured transporting passengers from Kole district, en route to his home district in Alebtong.

Pm Nabbanja with mobile money relief
Prime Minister Nabbanja promises to give mobile money to the vulnerable Ugandans during the lockdown, not food. PHOTO/ ALEX ESAGALA

Speaking about this, Nabbanja revealed it’s not good for government worker to use their position for personal interests. She said they are making further investigations and all the culprits will be brought before the court of law.

“I have noted with concern a video circulating on social media showing a police van transporting citizens at a cost. We are investigating the allegations and if found to be true, the culprits will face the law. Let’s be vigilant and report criminality,” Nabbanja revealed.

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