Govt delays release of PDM funds

Ms Faridah Kibowa, the chairperson of National Women’s Council, sensitizes women leaders about Parish Development Model in Oyam District in June. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • This is because there were delays in forming groups and associations across the country.
  • This is because there were delays in forming groups and associations across the country.
  • Government introduced the Parish Development Model (PDM) to bring all Ugandans into money economy. 

Government has said it will delay the release of the first batch of the Parish Development Model (PDM)  funds due to delays in forming savings groups and associations across the country. 
The decision was revealed by the minister of Local Government, Mr Raphael Magyezi, who said the formation of Saccos is ongoing.
“Currently, the formation of Saccos stands at 83 percent and we are still forming more of them. This means that we shall not release the first batch of the money as planned, but it will delay. We first want to complete formation of these groups in all the parishes, orient them and then after that we shall release the money,” Mr Magyezi told Daily Monitor at the weekend.

Government first mooted the idea of PDM in 2020, but did not implement it. 
In the last financial year, it budgeted Shs17 million per parish. Government proposed to reallocate some of the funds from the Women Empowerment Programme, Youth livelihood project and a number of other ongoing programmes, but faced stiff resistance, especially from gender activists and eventually dropped the proposal.

Even with the implementation scheduled to roll out last financial year, with a budget line in place, government failed to form the parish groups. It also struggled to fill the positions of the parish chiefs.
Asked what timeline government is giving for the completion of the formation of groups and subsequent release of the funds, Magyezi remained coy, but said the process is being expedited.

“We shall release the first batch this quarter, but not at the beginning as anticipated, but all I can promise is that the money will come. We are happy with the progress so far made and we think it will be completed in time,” he said.
Uganda has more than 10,000 parishes and before government started the rollout of the PDM, half of the parishes did not have a parish chief. 
According to the PDM implementation guidelines, parish chiefs are the principal signatories to the bank accounts of all the groups in each parish and are also the chief coordinators.

Mr Magyezi said government has completed the recruitment and orientation of parish chiefs.
“...They are ready for the programme. We have also enhanced their salaries from U7 which was about Shs270,000 to U5 which now stands at Shs475,000. We have also enhanced their consolidated allowances to cater for other expenses including transport to monitor the implementation of the PDM,” he said.

Magyezi also confirmed that government will release the money in instalments on quarterly basis.
He said government would first release Shs50 million towards the end of the first quarter of this financial year and the remaining money will be released in the subsequent quarters of the financial year. He, however, did not explain.
Asked whether this would not affect the smooth rollout as the little amount will likely not be enough to facilitate acquisition of inputs and other requirements, Mr Magyezi said the money would be enough. 

He, however, said government would also release the Shs17 million arrears for the last financial year, bringing the first instalment to a total of Shs67m.
“I want to inform the country that these SACCOs do not have to pay registration fees because registration of SACCOs has been centrally handled by the ministry in charge of cooperatives. They are registered at the district and they don’t have to send their application here. They are compiled by the district commercial officer there and they are given certificates for this households to say I’m a member of the circle,” he said.

Mobilisation 
Mr Magyezi asked leaders to mobilise their voters to embrace the programme. 
“We have not segregated anybody. I asked everyone to take part in the mobilisation and you can see that all the legislators from both the ruling party and those from Opposition have been mobilising their people. In Kampala most of the councillors are NUP and they have been attending all the mobilisation meetings, so no one has been left behind,” he said.
However, Mr Zacchy Mberaze Mawula, the Rubaga Division mayor, said some political leaders within KCCA have been neglected.

“We only came to know about it when we were invited for a meeting and by then decisions had already been taken, so we don’t feel part of the programme. Because most of us are from Opposition, the NRM people have taken this as a party thing and have pushed the elected leaders out, yet we were elected to serve the people,” he said.

About PDM
Government introduced the Parish Development Model (PDM) to bring all Ugandans into money economy. 
The latest figures from Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicate that 39 percent of Ugandans are still in subsistence economy. The model has seven pillars including (a) production, storage, processing and marketing; (b) Infrastructure and economic services; (c) financial inclusion; (d) social services; (e) mindset change; (f) parish based management information system (g) governance and administration.
 

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