Parish chiefs not tooled to run PDM –  Deputy Speaker

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa (centre) after officiating the new office of Bitereko People's SACCO in Ruhinda North, Mitooma District. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Thomas Tayebwa, has asked the government to keep skilling parish chiefs in operations of the Parish Development Model (PDM).

Mr Tayebwa, who was addressing LCI chairpersons in Mitooma District about PDM this past week, said he has discovered that the parish chiefs are not informed about the government project.

“I have moved through all the parishes in my constituency, but what I found there, the parish chiefs are not ready for it [PDM],” he said.

He added: “They (parish chiefs) are giving wrong information and do not know what they are talking about. What they are saying does not have connection with the PDM manual.”

Mr Tayebwa said the parish chiefs in Mitooma District are discouraging LCI chairpersons from forming groups, which will lead to people boycotting the programme.

“They (LCI chairpersons) were saying if government brought a programme that we cannot join, let them do it themselves yet they (parish chiefs) are saying an MP can be in a group which excludes an LCI chairperson and that is a parish chief,” Mr Tayebwa said, adding: “I even asked one of them (parish chief) ‘how many people in a family can join a group’? He said only one person. ‘How many groups can be formed in a village…. Maximum’? One told me four and the other three and he has formed them and advised others to wait for another programme.”

Mr Tayebwa said the need to skill parish chiefs again is because “they will be secretaries of PDM Saccos.”

He added: “We found out that they had misled people and they [people] are annoyed, thinking this programme will be for the rich, not the poor because they (parish chiefs) have finished forming groups in which local people are chased out. So I ask myself, what government are they serving?”

Mitooma District chairperson Benon Karyaija Booneza said they have 79 parishes in the district and all of the chiefs have been trained but they have not yet grasped the message clearly.

“Those people were trained for only one day, so really there is a need to train them again,” he revealed.

Background

On February 27, President Museveni launched the PDM at Kibuku Primary School in Kibuku District in Bukedi Sub-region. The aim of the programme is to uplift the 39 percent of Ugandans in the subsistence sector to the money economy. This is to be achieved under seven pillars of production, storage, processing and marketing; infrastructure and economic services; social services; mindset change; parish-based management information system; governance and administration, as well as financial inclusion. 

Mr Museveni said the parish chiefs were going to be the coordinators of the programme at all the 10,594 parishes in the country and would report to the sub-county chiefs.  He said each parish will form a cooperative society through which government support will be channeled.

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