Covid-19 Relief Cash: Post Bank Fails To Recover UGX235 Million Lost In Double Payments

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Covid-19 Relief Cash: Post Bank Fails To Recover UGX235 Million Lost In Double Payments
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 Post Bank has failed to recover Sh235million that was disbursed in double payments to COVID-19 cash beneficiaries, according to the bank’s Chief Executive Director, Andrew Kabeera. He disclosed this to a joint parliamentary team comprising the Public and Local Government Accounts committee.

Parliament is currently reviewing lists of COVID-19 cash beneficiaries that the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja tabled before parliament last month. The government through the Ministry of Finance approved a COVID-19 emergency fund to the tune of Shillings 53.5 billion.

The OPM identified 501,107 beneficiaries with each expected to pocket Shillings 100,000 to help them through the 42 days lockdown announced to contain the second wave of COVID-19. Shillings 2.854billion of the Shillings, 53.5 billion was spent on administrative costs including mobile money transfer charges.

The Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry transferred the remaining Shillings 50.645billion to Post Bank for the final disbursement to the beneficiaries. However, the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry, Betty Amongi later indicated that over 6000 people had received double payment.

On Friday, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee –Local Government, tasked Post Bank officials to clarify the minister’s revelations about the double payments.

Asuman Basalirwa, the PAC- Central Government MP also noted that besides double payments some beneficiaries received less than Shillings 100,000, according to the data provided by MTN Uganda. The company reported payments different from the standard amount of Shillings 102,425 to Mobile Money Accounts.

The statistics indicate that as of 4th August, 11 accounts had received less than the standard amount totaling Shillings 774,175 while 113 accounts had received above the standard amount totaling Shillings 166.8 million.

Patrick Isingoma, the Hoima East MP also weighed in demanding assurance from Post Bank that no taxpayer’s money would be lost.  In his response, Andrew Kabeera, the Post Bank Executive Director said that one of the batches was uploaded twice.  He explained that they realized the mistake within 15 minutes and immediately notified Airtel and the Gender Ministry.

“So our partner responded and they tried to recover the money from those who had received money twice. Of the money that was sent out, Shillings 600 million was recovered since it was not yet withdrawn. The remaining Shillings 235 million…the beneficiaries had withdrawn it, so I would say that a few Ugandans who were supposed to get Shillings 100,000, got Shillings 200, 000,” Kabeera revealed.

He explained that Post Bank and Airtel used their internal processes and returned the recovered funds on the accounts of the Gender Ministry, saying there is no loss to the Government of Uganda.

In regard to double payments, Kabeera said that they were legitimate, according to the instructions they received from the Ministry of Gender and that some of this money was meant to facilitate the collection of data in some places.

He also noted that the less amounts detected by MTN were for the experiments carried out by Post Bank.

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