Parish model is a nonstarter program, daily loans risk our economy – Cecilia Atim Ogwal

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The Government’s allocation of Shs 490bn, now reduced to 200bn, for the ostensible parish model is equivalent to building a castle in the air. Government needs to go back to the drawing board to replan how to deal with poverty in the country.

We had already allocated money to deal with poverty in the respective regions. The Minister is now saying Northern Uganda which had allocation 22bn for poverty alleviation will have 20bn removed and to be put in the weird parish model.

The same with Busoga: 13bn allocated but 10bn to be taken to the parish pool. This is building a castle in the air because the respective regions better understand the gaps in their developments and should be given opportunity to handle them.

In case of shortcomings, regions should be given chance to reevaluate and redesign. There’s already infrastructure in place to deal with our issues. There’s a Ministry with technical expertise to monitor and realign development.

The Minister is saying the parish model will be dealing with production, processing and marketing. How, when there’s no structure? Infrastructure and economic services, financial inclusion through the mysterious SACCOS? This is building castle in the air.

People like Rt. Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda and Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu were part of the UPC Government and they know very well that there was no need for a special fund to make cooperatives effective to drive the economy and wealth. We didn’t need special fund to address poverty in Lango, Teso etc.

We had fruits, cotton. Now the parish model is poised to take away cotton which is the backbone of Lango economy, coffee which is a powerful source of income in Buganda and just many others. Parish model is a nonstarter. If the child is dead, let’s bury it and try another pregnancy.

Ministry of Finance has also presented a budget of 46.6 and development only has Shs 6tn. Shs 7.7tn is going to defense when we are not at war, debt servicing is 6.9tn, capital obligation 12tn.

Now, how much money do we have to drive the administration of the economic development? Where shall we get it from? We are mortgaging the country with acquiring loans daily. The unfettered debt is precariously going to drive the country into deep poverty.

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