89-year-old man dies while queuing for welfare funds

89-year-old man dies while queuing for welfare funds
A female senior senior getting paid her welfare funds recently

An elderly man collapsed and died yesterday, as he lined up to receive his monthly stipend, under the Social Assistance Grants for Empowerment (SAGE) programme. The incident occurred at Nyakinama sub county headquarters in Kisoro district on Wednesday afternoon.

The deceased has been identified as Mark Semakuba, 89, a resident of Gatete village, Kisoro district. John Ntabibazo, one of the eyewitnesses said that Semakuba had gone to the sub-county in expectation of payments for the month of February and March 2019.

The government provides up to Shs 25,000 every month to citizens aged above 60 in parts of Karamoja and 65 for the rest of the country. Each of the beneficiaries receives the monthly stipend as part of the efforts to improve the well being of vulnerable and impoverished senior citizens.

Ntakibazo says that the deceased lost energy after lining up for a lengthy period. Semakuba’s wife Hope Nyirayinkamiye says that the deceased suffered from respiratory complications.

The elderly who converged at the scene faulted the government for not delivering the money to their villages instead of the sub-county where they have to walk long distances to receive the money. SAGE officials who were distributing the money declined to comment about the matter.

A similar incident occurred last month in Amuria district when another senior citizen Eneriko Olinga collapsed and died while undergoing final verification to enroll on the same SAGE programme.