The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among has flagged off legislators from Teso, Acholi, and Lango to follow up on the reconciliation and verification exercise for livestock compensation.
The Deputy Speaker tasked the MPs to ensure that the lists of claimants generated by the Government and those issued by courts of law are uniform so as to easily verify how to pay the concerned parties.
“For us to get value for money, MPs should be involved in this process along with the district leaders so that the money can reach intended beneficiaries. The earlier we start, the better. We need to take a political decision now and say let the money go,” Among said.
The Deputy Speaker made the directive in a meeting with the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, and legislators. The meeting was intended to discuss the progress of the livestock verification exercise and modalities of payment of claimants.
The Deputy Speaker commended lawyers representing claimants in court, for getting Government to get the compensation process started, adding that the initial beneficiaries will be paid according to the available resource envelope.
“I want to take this as a personal project. If I have to go Acholi, Lango, or Teso, I will go and follow up on this matter,” she said.
The Attorney General, Hon Kiryowa Kiwanuka said that Government has availed shs150 billion in the 2021/2022 financial year, for payment of claimants who will be verified.
“This exercise has been going on for a long time and there has always been an attempt to complete the whole exercise as one and then start paying, but that has delayed the process. Let us start with the ones we have as we continue the verification exercise,” said the Attorney General.
He added that Government has a list of 92,652 claimants as beneficiaries who are not in dispute with 16,946 of these from Acholi, 42,042 from Lango, and 33,664 from Teso.
Kiryowa Kiwanuka also said that effective Tuesday, 14 September 2021, data cards will go out to the regions and will be handled by district officials utilising the district structures and the Government lists will be made available to MPs for effective follow up.
“We hope that from this exercise, if you (MPs) feel that there is a constituent of yours that is not captured, that information can come back to us and we start that process. It will be extremely unfortunate if we have to return some of this money at the end of the financial year,” he added.
Hon. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi (Indep, Bardege-Layibi Division, Gulu City) said claimants from Acholi constituted a committee to help in the verification exercise and urged the Attorney General’s team to liaise with the committee to effectively conclude the region’s verification.
“We also need a clear quotation of the amount to be paid for each animal. We need to start this exercise so that we do not spend so much time on it,” said Mapenduzi.
Hon. Paul Omara, (Indep., Otuke County) tasked the Attorney General to consider a flat payment so that all the verified beneficiaries in the specified regions receive payment.
Hon. Judith Alyek, the Chairperson of the caucus for MPs from Lango tasked the Government to clarify on how it generated the list of the 92,652 claimants as well as the criteria to be used by the Attorney General’s office to distribute the money.