The Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, has raised concerns about the usage of the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) and Northern Uganda Social Action Fund (NUSAF) monies, which are allocated each financial year to support victims of the war in northern Uganda.
Oulanyah said although in every financial year Parliament allocates funds and solicits additional donor support, the intended beneficiaries’ lives are yet to see any improvement.
PRDP and NUSAF are programmes run under the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to rehabilitate war victims.
“In this Parliament, we vote money every financial year for PRDP and NUSAF; who are the people who receive this money? Why are we not being specific to intervene in a structured way to help people who are victims of this war?” said Oulanyah.
The Deputy Speaker was meeting a group of former abductees and their children born in captivity, who are battling a cocktail of hardships.
“Money is sent every financial year, why is it not getting to them?” he added.
The group of petitioners was led by area Member of Parliament Lyandro Komakech (DP, Gulu Municipality) and accompanied by the Presidential Affairs Committee Chairperson Jesca Ababiku.
“They [victims] are here with their children born in captivity, but it is very hard to bring those children up and take them to school…they now need an intervention from this Parliament,” said Komakech.
Ms Harriet Olanya, the Programme Coordinator at the Federation of Women Lawyers in Uganda (FIDA-U) said the organisation has been working with the troubled women and their children, but that they have hit a snag due to financial constraints.
Oulanyah later tasked Ms Ababiku’s Committee to follow up on the use of the funds and also bring the plight of the women to Parliament formally through a motion.
Ms Brenda Ongom, one of the victims, narrated her ordeal, saying she was abducted and mothered a now 14-year-old child under captivity.
Ongom said when she attempted to return home to reunite with her family, her relatives ganged up against her and allegedly beat her to near death.
The frail-looking Ongom displayed what looked like tablets she said she uses to suppress her pain, and that she shares a room with her son and three other children from another relationship, in a house blighted by poverty and need.