Apac residents accuse PDM agents of extortion

Ms Faridah Kibowa, the chairperson of National Women’s Council (left), sensitises women leaders about PDM in Oyam District  in November last year. PHOTO / BILL OKETCH

What you need to know:

  • The implementing agents: the community development officers (CDOs), parish chiefs and town agents are accused of allegedly conniving with operators of secretarial businesses to extort money from beneficiary groups.

Irregularities coupled with lack of awareness about Parish Development Model (PDM) are threatening the implementation of the government programme in Apac District.

The implementing agents: the community development officers (CDOs), parish chiefs and town agents are accused of allegedly conniving with operators of secretarial businesses to extort money from beneficiary groups.

It is reported that some corrupt civil servants extorted money from groups for registration fees, registration form and buying the PDM constitution, yet the programme’s services are free.

The payments

In Chegere and Teboke sub-counties, for instance, people are allegedly paying Shs10,000 to access a registration form.

“The CDO told me to collect money from the group but I never wanted to get involved and I told the group leaders to go to the sub-county where they paid the money,”  Mr Milton Obote Okello, the LC2 chairman of Chegere Parish, said during a sensitisation meeting in Apac Town on Tuesday.

Ms Lilly Etime, a resident of Akaidebe Village, Ilee Parish in Teboke, said their leaders collected money from members.

“Our group leaders were told to pick the registration form and the constitution from a computer centre where we paid the money,” she said.

Mr Bob Oola, the LC3 chairman of Atik Division, said he received many complaints of extortion.

“When I started following up the matter, I could not find the [culprits] because the trick used by these people was too advanced,” he said.

Ms Anna Akite, the production coordinator for Apac Municipal Council, said they printed the forms and left them at a photocopying centre in Apac Town for agents to pick up for free.

“My officer took the soft copy of the PDM constitution and registration form [to the computer centre] and paid [the money for printing] so that it could be [accessed] free of charge. If any extortion happened, that could have been the CDOs and town agents,” she said.

The Resident District Commissioner, Mr George Abdul, said the complaints are being investigated.

The Minister of Gender, Ms Betty Amongi, tasked the local leaders to closely monitor the implementation of parish model.

“According to the PDM guideline, local leaders from LC1, LC2 and above are the ones to monitor the implementation of PDM. So, if the community member reports to you any complaints, you should forward it to the office of the RDC,” she said.

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