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Task force disregards MP’s ideas on use of COVID-19 funds

COVID-19 Gulu Task Force Meeting at the Municipal Yard

Gulu, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The Gulu District COVID-19 taskforce has disregarded suggestions by area MPs’ on the utilization of the 20 million Shillings from Parliament. The money was given to each legislator to facilitate their activities on the management and control of coronavirus disease.  

But amidst controversy on the role of parliament in fighting COVID-19 and a public outburst on why legislators received the money, they were all advised to hand over the allocation to the district COVID-19 task force or refund it to the Parliamentary Commission.  

Aswa County MP Ronald Reagan Okumu who was the first to hand over the money indicated that the Task Force should use it for purchasing adjustable beds for Awach Health Centre IV, a facility located in his constituency. Meanwhile, Lyandro Komakech, the Gulu Municipality MP wanted his money used to procure relief food to benefit former Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) captive mothers and cyclists of Gulu City Bodaboda Association.  

Meanwhile, the Leader of Opposition (LOP) in Parliament, Betty Aol Ocan, who is also the Gulu Woman MP had dictated that her money should be used to purchase food aid for mothers and child-headed homes.

But the District Task Force chaired by Maj. Santos Okot Lapolo declined to heed to the instructions by the individual MP’s.  According to the task force, the district has several priority areas in which to use the money adding that the MPs were already issued receipts from the CAO to help them with accountability when the need arises.

Gulu District Chairman Martin Ojara Mapenduzi argues the task force should write and inform the MPs about their decision.  

Maj. Santo Okot Lapolo said he would write to the concerned MPs and inform them of the inability to utilise the money as dictated by them. He adds that the MPs will be invited to attend the task force meeting held every Tuesday, in which the matters will be ironed out. 

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