Parliament angry over 23 ‘missing’ children from orphanages

Parliament angry over 23 ‘missing’ children from orphanages

An Auditor General’s report on the Department of Social Welfare submitted to Parliament at its Thursday sitting by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has reportedly angered Members of Parliament.

The Auditor General has revealed that 23 children who were hosted in eight out of ten orphanages by the Department of Social Welfare cannot be accounted for.

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Details of the outcome of a sampled survey that established this, are captured in a report authored by the Auditor General and submitted to parliament for further action.

Another interesting revelation made by the report, is that 82 out of 85 residential homes for children in four regions, were operating without the required licenses.

These confounding reports angered most of the legislators who registered their displeasure.

The MP for Pusiga, Laadi Ayamba, questioned why the Department of Social Welfare failed in its responsibility for the upkeep of the children.

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She questioned why the Department of Social Welfare did it not realize that the homes that it was taking the census in did not have license. “Why was the department not collecting data at the same time that they were going round”?

“If you listened carefully, you will realize that 23 children cannot be accounted for. Nobody is able to tell us if the children are with their parents, or if they simply left or they passed away?… Those orphanages should be able to tell where those children are, because one life is worth more than anything we have on earth,” she noted.

In her submission, Laadi Ayamga also called on the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, to work on finding out what happened to the children.

“I will suggest that the Minister for Gender needs to do more to find out where these children are. We are well aware that there is child trafficking,” she said.

The MP also tasked the Minister to take a second look at the orphanages operating without licenses.

“I also wish to suggest that all the orphanages that have problems should really be taken on because once they are operating without licenses and nobody cares about them, then they can do anything to these children.”

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