Covid cash was our idea - FDC’s Amuriat

Tuesday July 13 2021
home01pix

FDC president Patrick Amuriat addresses journalists at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Kampala. PHOTO | ABUBAKER LUBOWA

By Damali Mukhaye

The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) has accused the government of hijacking its idea of Covid-19 relief cash transfer to vulnerable Ugandans.

The government last week embarked on giving relief inform of cash to people whose incomes were affected by the Covid-induced lockdown, which idea was announced by the Prime Minister,  Ms Robinah Nabbanja, on June 20.

As of yesterday,  a total of 96,000 people had each received the money.  Last week, 53,000 Ugandans got the cash while 43,000 received the fund on Sunday, according to the Gender ministry.

However, while addressing the media at the party headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Kampala, the FDC president, Mr Patrick Amuriat, said the idea of giving Ugandans Shs100,000 as Covid-19 relief was enshrined in their 2021 election manifesto.

Mr Amuriat said in their proposal, they planned to extend the cash for a period of six months and that they had also planned to give assistance to five million Ugandans across the country.

He added that the government not only copied their idea, but has also mismanaged it because targeting a mere 500,000 households is a mockery.

Advertisement

“This ideas of Shs100,000 is well stated in our manifesto and as I said, these are just copy cats. We said as FDC, we would be providing this money to every household per month for six months. Our ideas are being adulterated by Ms Nabbanja,” Mr Amuriat said yesterday.

“We were very clear in our minds on the modalities we would be using to provide such support to the households. We even took a quick census and came to the number of five million households that are vulnerable across the country,” he added.  Mr Amuriat advised the government to carefully make use of their manifesto that spells out how the government can provide social support to the most vulnerable people, improve the health system and revamp the economy.

During last year’s presidential campaigns, Mr Amuriat pledged to give Shs100,000 to each vulnerable household for six months as one of the Covid-19 relief package.    

However, Ms Nabbanja said the Covid cash strategy was her brainchild.

During the launch of disbursement exercise last week, Ms Nabbanja made a phone call to some of the beneficiaries to confirm if they had received the cash.

She said the government could only give the money to 501,107 households because the Ministry of Finance only identified funds that can cater for that number. The Premier, however, asserted that the government would come up with more modalities to help its citizens. 

Covid-19 promises

At the same function, Mr Amuriat faulted the government over unfulfilled pledges since last year’s lockdown.

He said the government promised to buy facemasks to Ugandans but to date, people are still struggling to afford them.

Mr Amuriat also said the government promised to buy vulnerable Ugandans radios and television sets to ensure continuity of learning during lockdown but in vain.

“Right now, children of those who can afford Internet,  smart phones and notes are having their children study online while those of the poor are languishing deep in villages,’’ he said. 

FDC further faulted the government over failure to provide enough stimulus packages to Small Medium Enterprises through Uganda Development Bank as it had indicated. 

Advertisement