Gov’t asked to sort infant PDM challenges

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President Museveni during the launch of the Parish Development Model (PDM) programme in February, 2022. File Photo

By Leonard Kamugisha Akida,

NATIONAL

Sharon Arach Oyat, the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) spokesperson has asked government to find ways of sorting the challenges affecting the Parish Development Model (PDM) programme at its infantry stage.

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“UPC is calling upon government to move in very fast with mitigation measures and address such challenges that have been identified early and have it a success to enhance the welfare of our people who are still struggling to recover from the consequences of covid-19 at the grassroots,” Arach said

She was speaking to journalists at UPC headquarters, Uganda House Kampala on Wednesday where she noted the various challenges faced by the programme in less than one year of its implementation.

According to Arach, the government has not well sensitized the public about the Parish Development Model programme which affects its implementation.

“More teaching is needed to understand PDM and how it is to benefit our people from the grassroots, the flow of funds is not steady falling short of the projected figures which affects its implementation, and both the mainstream media and social media are reporting stories of either diversion or outright misuse of PDM funds.” She explained.

She urges that the programme should roll fast if its objectives are to be achieved.

She retaliated UPC’s earlier cautions and advice to government to first track the performance of the programme using a pilot scheme with a sizeable representation number of parishes from both urban and rural areas across the country however, government did not heed to its advice.

Arach says that if not urgently sorted, the the PDM will follow suit other failed government poverty alleviation initiatives like Emyooga, Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), Youth Livelihood Project, Boona Bagagawale among others.

The 490 billion shillings was launched in February with an aim of eradicating poverty through the execution of development activities at the parishes.

The programme targets over 10,594 parishes across the country approximately  39% of the households.

It is an extension of the approach to development as envisaged under the National Development Plan III, with the parish as the lowest administrative and operational hub for delivering services closer to the people and hence fostering local economic development.

Under the initiative, each parish received at least 17 million Shillings in the last financial year to start the implementation of the programme and according to the plan, the parishes will each receive 100 million Shillings in the current financial year.

However, there are reports in the mainstream media and on social media alleging misappropriation of the PDM funds majorly by Local Government leaders and other administrators at districts including RDCs, CAOs and District Procurement Officers.

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