The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development was tasked with getting street children off Kampala streets as a measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus among these youngsters.
To that effect, Parliament allocated Shs2.4bn to Gender Ministry to carry out this exercise.
However, street children are still roaming the streets, with James Ebitu, Acting Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Gender saying that the Ministry is yet to receive the Shs2.4bn.
He made the revelation while appearing before Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to respond to queries raised in the June 2019 Auditor General’s report.
Asked by Rosemary Nauwat (Amudat Woman MP) why the number of street kids has increased despite Parliament approving a supplementary budget worth Shs2.4bn to relocate street kids.
“The Accounting Officer talked about some rehabilitation centers, but these days, I see street children especially along Kasanga-Gaba Road and I don’t know what the Ministry is doing considering this challenge of COVID-19,” Nauwat said.
James Waluswaka (Bunyole West) tasked the Ministry of Gender to explain how they spent the Shs2.4bn that Parliament appropriated for relocation of street children.
In response, Ebitu denied ever seeing a penny of the said funds.
“I want to thank Parliament for appropriating that money, but appropriation is another thing, receiving is another. We got zero, out of the Shs2.4bn that you approved,” he said.
The Ministry of Gender now joins Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in painting a grim picture on how the over Shs4Trn approved by Parliament has been used, with UVRI informing Parliament that despite being on the forefront of conducting tests for Coronavirus, the institution didn’t receive any penny.
It should be recalled that in May 2020, MPs on the Budget Committee recommended to Parliament to approve a Supplementary request from the Ministry of Gender, to a tune of Shs2.4bn that will be used to relocate street Children off the streets in Kampala.
Parliament in FY 2018/19 authorized the Ministry of Gender to spend Shs3.4bn for the relocation but of these funds, only Shs1bn was released and Cabinet directed the Ministry of Finance to release the balance of Shs2.4bn in FY 2019/2020 for implementation of the remaining street children activities.
Officials from the Ministry of Gender told Parliament that the funds are expected to finance priority interventions targeting 1,500 street children.