The Minister of State for Gender and Culture Affairs, Hon. Mutuuzo Peace Regis has reassured all older persons facing challenges in accessing the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) of Government’s commitment to ensure that they are paid.
The Minister noted that some persons haven’t received their payments due to lack of national Identity cards or discrepancies in their actual ages and those indicated on the IDs.
“We have received information about some intended beneficiaries missing out because they don’t have national IDs while others appear and claim to be 80 and above but the IDs indicate that they are younger,” Mutuuzo said, adding: “The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is going to work together with the local authorities and older persons to resolve these issues.”
She revealed that for those unable to move due to various reasons, officials would reach them at their homes to enroll them and their alternative recipients who would subsequently pick the payments on their behalf.
Mutuuzo made the remarks while inspecting payments at Kyakahinda LC II offices in Kibito Town Council, Bunyangabu district on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
She observed that changing age from the one indicated on the IDs would require a legal process involving swearing of affidavits and due to its complexity, there is need for local authorities to offer support services.
Up to 2,425 persons in Bunyangabu district are slated to receive payments amounting to Shs 363,750,000 covering six months from January to June 2020. Each beneficiary is entitled to Shs25,000 per month.
Government recently rolled out the payments to cover all 135 districts across the country in fulfillment of its pledge enlisted in the NRM 2016-2020 manifesto.
Due to limited resources, the age bracket for beneficiaries was revised from 65 to 80 years and above in a move that also sought to target the most vulnerable persons.
With the roll out, a total of 358,420 older persons are expected to be receiving the monthly payments across the country.
Although the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development had planned to commence payments in March, the arrangement had to be suspended to re-work its delivery mechanisms to ensure that the processes for enrolment, registration and payment comply with the Health Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted after the outbreak of COVID-19.
Mutuuzo commended the Development Partners- UKAID and Irish Aid, for the technical and financial support extended to the Programme since 2010, enabling it to grow into a nationwide facility.