PostBank seeks to recover Shs242m wrongfully sent to Covid relief beneficiaries

Friday July 30 2021

Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja launches the first batch of Covid-19 cash relief at the Office of the Prime Minister on July 8, 2021. PHOTO | ABUBAKER LUBOWA

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

PostBank has said it is in the process recovering at least Shs242.2m that was wrongfully sent to beneficiaries of the Covid Relief Fund. 
The yet to be recovered money, which represents at least 0.56 per cent of the total payments, is part of the Shs601m that was wrongfully sent as double payments to at least 6,011 beneficiaries. 

Government recently entered into a tripartite arrangement under the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development together with telecoms, in which it sought to remit at least Shs100,000 to 501,107 households under the Covid Relief Fund. 

To date, PostBank, which is the principle remitter, has paid at least 415,574 beneficiaries spread across the country out of the targeted 501,107 households. 
At least Shs42.56b has, according to Postbank has so far been paid out. 
In a Wednesday statement, Ms Doreen Nyiramugisha, the PostBak head marketing and communications said the double payment was a single incident relating to a batch upload file, which the bank had quickly identified before alerting Airtel about the duplication. 

“To date, more than 60 per cent has been recovered and the outstanding amount is Shs242.19m [0.56 per cent of total payments],” she said, noting that the full recovery of wrongfully remitted money was being resolved and “all intended beneficiaries will be paid as per the future instructions”. 
However, Airtel had earlier indicated that it had only provided a platform through which the Covid-19 Relief cash was sent, noting all payments had been made by Post Bank. 
President Museveni is today expected to address the nation on the way forward after 42 days of the lockdown elapsed yesterday.

The Covid Relief Fund had sought to support households, among which included boda boda riders, saloon operators and artists, whose incomes had been affected due to the lockdown. 
Other support targets included bar-related workers, food vendors, car washers, slum dwellers, street vendors, shoe shiners, promoters, salon and massage parlor employees, teachers and support staff in schools, orphans and vulnerable children. 

More beneficiaries     
Whereas there have been complaints that a number of targeted people are yet to receive the money a day after completion of the 42-days of lockdown, PostBank says, it is waiting for government to remit more beneficiary numbers before it can close the process. Ms Nyiramugisha said they are waiting for a full list to  complete payment of pending beneficiaries before the process is formally closed.