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SAGE beneficiaries receive their cash (File Photo- Courtesy)

SAGE beneficiaries urged to form groups ahead of new gov’t program

Elderly persons in Ibanda have been advised to form groups through which they will receive government grants to set up income-generating projects.

Norbert Kamugisha, the district senior community development officer, asked the elderly to form groups of between 5-15 people to benefit from the small grants of UGX 5m per group aimed at ensuring they have sustainable sources of income.

Kamugisha revealed that persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the district were already benefitting from a similar government grant.

Kamugisha made the recommendation while addressing older persons from Bufunda Division, Ibanda Municipality who had turned up to receive their Social Assistance Grant Empowerment (SAGE) money at the division offices on Friday.

The UGX 75,000 per person is for the first quarter of this fiscal year. The beneficiaries are entitled to UGX 25,000 per month each under SAGE programme.

Commenting on the new programme, David Bigira, district male councilor representing older persons, said they were already sensitizing older persons about the government initiative. He added that they will start with those willing and later bring over 400 SAGE beneficiaries in the district on board.

One of the SAGE beneficiaries keeps his cash as he leaves the disbursement area.

Kamugisha expressed disappointment over those stealing the money from the beneficiaries. He cited a case in Kashangura Kagongo Division, where the son of the beneficiary has been taking his father’s cash but never handing it over to the old man since he accessed the SAGE payroll.

The official said he was working with the Police in Ibanda to arrest this person so he answers for his crime.

On the issue of names missing on payroll, he assured qualifying older persons that the anomaly would be addressed and they get paid.

Eighty-three year-old Emmanuel Begumana, of Kagorogoro cell in Bufunda Division said the government SAGE cash was “keeping a smile on the faces of older persons”.

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