President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has ordered that the exercise of supplying Covid-19 relief food in Uganda to first stop in order to first sort out corruption scandals involved in the activity.
Following the closure of many people’s businesses during the lockdown because of Covid-19, government through the office of Prime Minister embarked on supplying relief food (Maize flour, beans and powdered milk to breastfeed mothers) to vulnerable people who are no longer working.
President Museveni ordered food to first be supplied in districts with high urban poor and vulnerable people. The districts included Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso.
So far, according to the Minister of State for Housing, Dr Chris Balyomunsi who is among the committee members supplying food in Kampala, the first phase cost over Shs59bn.
Currently, Kampala district and half of Wakiso district and some parts of Mukono district had received food. h
However, sources from the State House allege that due to a lot of complaints received by president Museveni from his informants at the ground, he decided to first halt the activity.
Sources allege that president Museveni passed the order while in the meeting with ministers and said that unless everything that is not clear in the activity of supplying food is completely dealt with, there will be no more free food.
He also asked the committee supplying food to first evaluate their performance in both Kampala and Wakiso where most of the parts at least received food.
According to reports from the committee over 400,000 people in Kampala received food, while in Wakiso out of 1,000,000 people who are in need of food only 400,000 got food. In Mukono district, those who received are over 100,000.
It’s also noted that prior to President Museveni’s order, the food which was budgeted to be supplied to the three districts was over and also the money which was allocated to purchase food was over.
According to Dr Balyomunsi, when the evaluation is done, the committee will request for another sum of money to purchase more food. He added that the second phase is going to involve all big towns in Uganda front lining Mukono district.
Ever since government embarked on supplying free food to people, there has been a lot of controversies both within the committee supplying food and on the ground between the local leaders and the local people.
In March before the activity started four officials from the Office of Prime Minister-OPM were accused of fraudulent practices in the purchase of Covid19 relief food.
These included the OPM Permanent Secretary, Christine Guwatudde Kintu, Undersecretary Joel Wanjala, Assistant Commissioner for Procurement, Fred Lutimba and Commissioner for Disaster Management, Martin Owor.
On the ground, some local leaders have been accused of handpicking some local people and others are accused of exchanging food for sex.
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