KAMPALA – The Office of the Prime Minister has insisted that they will continue with the food distribution programme for Kampala Metropolitan Area despite Parliament saying it should be extended to the whole country.
On Thursday, April 2, Parliament suspended the food distribution programme, saying that government must cater for all the needy countrywide since the lockdown over coronavirus is all over the country.
But addressing journalists at the media centre in Kampala on Friday, State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru said at the moment, the government has no capacity to distribute food to the needy countrywide.
He said for now, the government will distribute food to the people in Kampala and Wakiso who are no longer working due to the lockdown. Mr Ecweru argued that most people upcountry have farms and can easily survive during the lockdown unlike those in Kampala.
Nevertheless, he said that government will work with district leaders and RDCs to identify the needy in the districts who can be helped but at a later stage.
The minister said that the food distribution programme will start in Bwaise, Kawempe Division, and urged journalists to be present at the flag off on Saturday.
The government will give 1.5 million Ugandans 3 kilograms of beans, six kilograms of flour and salt. Lactating mothers and the sick will be given 2 kilograms of powdered milk and 2 kilograms of sugar. Government says the relief will be distributed through the local council systems.
Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo has said that government has taken the decision to distribute relief food in Kampala and Wakiso districts.
Opondo who posted on social media said government doesn’t agree with the advice of Parliament to stop the distribution.
In an interview with Hillary Onek, the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees says that the relief is for vulnerable people who are in Kampala and Wakiso but are from different parts of the country, and have a daily income which has been interrupted but also do not have a fallback position like a garden or source of income they can rely on.
He says that the Government’s focus is Kampala and Wakiso, because most of the people in the other parts of the country can easily walk back to their homes and they are not stranded as people in Kampala and Wakiso.
The draft budget for the purchase of the relief being discussed by the committee on Budget is 54 Billion shillings for the 30 days.