The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has assured legislators that the institution will interest itself in the quality of relief food distributed to the masses.
Kadaga’s reassurance follows a complaint from several MPs during plenary sitting on Tuesday, 12 May 2020 about the quality of the beans being distributed by the government.
The government through the Office of the Prime Minister commenced the door-to-door distribution of food that comprises maize flour, beans and powdered milk in March, to support vulnerable and underprivileged persons affected by the lockdown in the districts of Kampala and Wakiso. The distribution is also a measure to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Three MPs, to prove their point, presented on the Floor of Parliament, samples of inferior beans they claimed had been distributed in their constituencies.
Hon. Ssemujju Nganda (FDC, Kira Municipality) while displaying a sample of beans distributed in his constituency, implored government to urgently ascertain whether beans being distributed are those from its qualified suppliers.
“This food was distributed yesterday in Kireka. What is happening is that you will go to one home you find good beans, but then in the next home you will find that the beans are spoilt” said Ssemujju.
The Rubaga Division North legislator, Hon. Moses Kasibante (Ind.) and Hon. Allan Ssewanyana representing Makindye Division West also displayed samples of beans picked from their respective constituencies.
“Since we cannot tell the source of the said rotten beans, I will send a team to investigate the source and quality of beans in areas cited by Members,” Kadaga said.
Hon. Kasibante dismissed criticism that the samples presented before Parliament could be a malicious move to tarnish the image of government. “I personally picked these beans from one of my constituents right after distribution by the national task force and they are from labelled packs,” he said.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards recently reported that some of the relief food distributed by government and that offered by well-wishers, including corporate entities, was not suitable for human consumption.
Some government ministers have apologised to the masses over the quality of the food and promised to do better.