At least data entry clerks who each received the sh100,000 Covid-19 relief cash have pleaded with the Public Accounts Committee on Local Government to be allowed to refund the money.
But committee chairperson, Bar dege-Layibi MP Martin Ojara Mapenduzi informed them that an inquiry file has already been opened with the Criminal Investigation Department of Parliament and it is after the investigations are done that their request to refund will be handled.
In mitigation, the apparently scared data entry clerks who were appearing before the committee said they were working as volunteers and are some of the vulnerable Ugandans who needed the relief money.
The committee is probing the fraud in the registration of vulnerable beneficiaries meant to receive the COVID-19 relief of 100,000 shillings.
Officials of Arua CIty who were appearing alongside the data entry clerks however said they had entrusted the task of registering Arua’s vulnerable people with staff staticians and did not know how the volunteers came into the picture.
Eight of the 14 data entry clerks who worked in Arua are willing and pleading to return the money, saying they are sorry that they included their names among the beneficiaries. The admission was not a group matter and each made a brief, individual verbal statement admitting culpability and seeking forgiveness.
The Arua officials could also not explain how the beneficiaries included hundreds of female boda boda riders yet it is known that there are only two female boda boda riders in the whole of Arua City.
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