The government has identified youth in Kampala City slums and single mothers among the four categories of vulnerable persons eligible for Covid-19 cash grants.
The others are boda boda cyclists and taxi operators, according to Kampala Resident City Commissioner Hussein Hudu.
The Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, and Gender ministry officials are expected to announce the details of the amount to be handed out today.
Separately, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago proposed that each household be given at least Shs252,000, an average Shs6,000 daily spend, but that the transfers be made to each family member instead of the head.
President Museveni imposed a second major lockdown last Friday following rising Covid-19 cases, with daily infections for the first time since March last year grossing 1,300.
He closed both public and private transport as well as Kikuubo, the commercial hub of Kampala, where hundreds eke a daily living.
At the weekend, Ms Nabbanja said the National Covid-19 Taksforce that she chairs opted for cash transfers because of the challenges experienced in the distribution of government food in metropolitan Kampala during the first lockdown.
Besides slowed delivery, many missed out, while others received more than their original allocation. Others complained about the poor quality of beans and maize flour.
Ms Nabbanja said the shift to cash transfers is also intended to give the beneficiaries choices on priority spending.
During a press conference yesterday, Mr Hudu said the details of who will receive how much cash to last the 42 days is being finalised, although he raised fears that ineligible individuals could be smuggled onto the list of beneficiaries.
To ensure that the right people are reached, he said village chairpersons will be central in identifying the beneficiaries since they know their residents and as such, should demonstrate honesty and good behaviour.
“In this period, almost everybody is affected in one way or the other, but there must be criteria of identifying who is the most affected. There are those who survive on hand-to-mouth and they are known in the city.
These will be given priority,” Mr Hudu said.
The capital has 96 parishes and roughly 1,000 villages, according to official records.
Mr Hudu urged LC officials to work with divisional mayors to identify the most vulnerable people in their communities, and asked the government to fast-track the process of cash handouts because lockdown has worsened the living conditions for the impoverished.
He also said security forces were investigating reports that many residents were hitching rides in ambulances and trucks – both permitted on the roads - to access the city centre in contravention of lockdown rules.
“People are hiding in trucks and the majority are transforming themselves into cargo. We know all their tricks and all these will be arrested and the trucks will be impounded. No one is supposed to be in the city and people should stay home,” he said.
Mr Hudu expressed disappointment with Uganda Medical Council for not reining in on private health facilities that charge exorbitant bills where an average of Shs5m per day is required for a Covid-19 patient in Intensive Care Unit.
Traders cry out
While imposing the lockdown, President Museveni ordered that the restrictions take immediate effect, catching by surprise some businesses with stocked perishable goods and cash stashed for the next day’s purchases.
This newspaper understands that the affected parties have been in crisis talks with political and technical leaders and law enforcement to secure their money and goods before the lapse of the initial 42-day lockdown.
The President said the stay-home order is to shelter people from danger as the government imports more vaccines to ramp up inoculation as Ugandan researchers pilot possible vaccines and therapeutics.
A computation by this newspaper, based on Ministry of Health statistics, shows that up to 200 Covid-19 patients on average recover each day despite crowded and overwhelmed hospitals.
Mr Museveni ordered that no private or public vehicle should ply the roads unless if transporting patients with clearance letters issued by LC I officials.
Govt provides transport for patients
With many families without private cars and or money to hire one or with relatives with vehicles living in neighbouring districts where travel is banned, help has been hard to reach patients in critical condition, by some accounts.
As a result, the government has made available 18 ambulances to transport both Covid-19 and non-Covid patients to nearby health facilities in Kampala, and the toll-free contact for accessing the driver is 08009900000.
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago asked the government to reactivate the 800 vaccination centres in the capital so that residents can easily access them.
The Lord Mayor and Kampala Capital City Authority’s deputy executive director, Mr David Luyimbazi, said officials are adjusting the budget to make it pandemic-responsive.
“We already have a process in place and we are working with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that we manage this crisis and our monitoring teams will be identifying vulnerable groups who merit support,” Mr Luyimbazi said.