Pain of getting PDM cash

PDM beneficiaries  line up at the entrance of Housing Finance Bank in Fort Portal City last week. PHOTO/ALEX ASHABA

What you need to know:

  • Beneficiaries reportedly spend more than a week at Fort Portal town to open bank accounts and have their credentials captured in the system.

Parish Development Model (PDM) beneficiaries attached to 22 Saccos in the divisions of North and Central in Fort Portal City are facing it rough to access funds.
The locals, who have been queuing at banks, told Monitor that they are enduring harsh conditions, including the scorching sun to have their bank accounts opened.

The two financial institutions selected to disburse the funds are Housing Finance Bank and Centenary Bank.
An observation by this publication reveals that the majority of beneficiaries, both those who have received the money and those who are still waiting, spend more than a week in town to open bank accounts and be captured in the system.
Due to the overwhelming number of beneficiaries, particularly those attempting to open accounts at Housing Finance Bank, individuals begin lining up at 8am.

 At times, they are forced to seek refuge in improvised tents on Balya Road green belt while others sleep under tree shades.
Ms Janet Kyarikunda, a resident of Nyakagongo Ward, said: “This is my third day coming here. The first time, I was given a number to be in the line, and we lined up for more than four hours. I was about to collapse, so I decided to go back home. The next morning when I returned, I found many people already lining up. It is a struggle to see that one gets this money.’’
She further revealed that she injected about Shs50,000 into food and transport, excluding money for opening a bank account and making photocopies.

Ms Lucy Kabagenyi, a resident of Kahiju, Central Division, echoed similar sentiments.
“It is a struggle to get a bank account. One has to spend the entire day in town. If they don’t serve you, you come the following day. Remember the bank has other clients to serve,” she said.
Ms Kabagenyi suggested an alternative approach to expedite the process.
“We don’t know why they specifically chose a few banks to handle many people yet Fort Portal City has many banks. Each person has a phone, it would be better if the money was sent directly to our mobile phone accounts. People are incurring extra costs coming to town to open a bank account,” she said.

Fort Portal City deputy mayor Betty Mujungu said: “Our people are receiving PDM money, the only challenge is that one bank is overwhelmed by PDM beneficiaries. Our mothers have to stand in the rain or in the sunshine. The bank has no space for clients,  but as leaders, we are concerned.’’
She added that in the previous city council sitting, they resolved that implementers of PDM should shift some of the Sacco accounts to other banks.

The Fort Portal City PDM coordinator, Dr Stanley Businge, acknowledged the challenges.
“We received a council resolution to shift Sacco accounts to other banks, but the process of transitioning is also time-consuming,’’ he said.

He stated that a total of 2,126 people from the two divisions of the North and Central Divisions of Fort Portal City have received funds .
Dr Businge said three wards, Kitaka, Nyakitojo, and Rwekuba, have not benefited from the PDM since the start of the programme because they were annexed to the city. 
However, he expressed optimism that the wards will benefit in the next phase under 2023/2024  Financial Year.

A November progressive report of PDM seen by this publication indicates that a total of Shs2.2b had been disbursed to 22 PDM Saccos by the end of the financial year 2022/2023 at the two divisions of North and Central in Fort Portal City.