By Rwothomio Mike
ZOMBO > A sizable number of Parish development model funds beneficiaries in Zombo district are reportedly using the funds for luxuries according to a report from the Zombo District local government. #WhisperEyeNews
The luxuries that beneficiaries are reportedly rushing for immediately upon receiving I million cash on their phones are iron sheets, Alipu music systems, and Smartphones amongst others according to the R.D.C of Zombo R.t.d Lt Col Pius Alitema.
Alitema who cautioned the beneficiaries against misusing the funds revealed that most people upon receiving funds were spotted in Paidha town council and market areas buying different luxuries which he adds is painting a downbeat picture of the fund’s recovery that is already in circulation across the district.
“We have evidence that upon receiving funds, most beneficiaries are rushing for luxuries like iron sheets, and Alipu music systems instead of using the funds strategically” Alitema Said
Zombo District is one of the luckiest districts in the country in which the government had earlier rolled out parish development model funds to the tune of over 1 billion Ugandan shillings to more than 400 beneficiaries.
The LCV chairperson of Zombo district James Oruna Oyullu has expressed concerns about the unplanned withdrawal of funds amongst most PDM funds beneficiaries.
Oyullu advised beneficiaries to withdraw money in instalments and it should be in line with how they are investing in their planned activities to remove them from abject poverty.
” People are withdrawing funds how and you find them in bars splashing money buying drinks with the claim that money is theirs. This is totally bad, Let’s use this money so that we are eradicated from poverty” Oyullu said during A parish development model funds launch in Paidha Town Council Zombo district.
John Batista Berocan, A businessman man in the waiting list of PDM funds access in central ward Paidha town council shared that ” most people are excited because they have not handled 1 million Uganda shillings before”.
Recently, The districts of Zombo and Arua were highly ranked in the effective implementation of the parish development model programme in the west Nile sub_ region by The PDM national coordinator Denis Galabuzi.
Sam Kumakech, a youth advocate and a founder of smart sam’s Foundation, a c.b.o in Zombo district whilst for a presser with journalists from the Zombo press association, has stressed the need for maximum sensitisation of locals before government programmes are rolled out.
” It’s absolutely true that most people upon receiving the funds become so excited and start using the money luxuriously. We should up the level of sensitisation in the community before any government programme is rolled out. it’s not about the radio announcements alone. let’s get to the community and talk to them” Kumakech Stressed.
The Parish development model funds that are borrowed at a small interest rate of 6% are meant to alleviate poverty Amongst 3.5 million households representing 39% of Ugandans locked in subsistence to money economy to create wealth and jobs in 10,594 parishes with each parish to receive 100 million.
The chairperson of board Lor central pdm Saaco in Zeu sub county Ora constituency Innocent Ngamaber has attributed the reported fund’s mismanagement to some politicians that he blamed were moving in the community peddling lies without clear PDM guidelines.
” The politicians are not technocrats but were so much involved In the community trying to explain policies without clear knowledge,” He said.
In the 2022/2023 financial year, Parliament appropriated Sh.s 1.142 trillion for the PDM programme of which 1.059 trillion has been appropriated for the revolving fund.
The chief administrative officer of Zombo Jacob Batemyeto has shared that most people head into government programmes without a clear focus.
” In the office where I sit, we have realized that many people lack focus,” Batemyeto told PDM funds Prospect at Paidha town council.
Julius Kapwepwe, the PDM national finance adviser whilst addressing some PDM beneficiaries during the launch of the Funds for Okoro Constituency At Paidha cultural centre in Paidha town council warned of tougher penalties against those who plan to fail the government programme.
” I want to say that PDM is not a joke, don’t play with it, that’s why you hear or see in the news that those that tried to play around with the funds were dealt with. PDM is Akuna muchezo am telling you once again” Kapwepwe Said.
The State Minister of Northern Uganda Grace Freedom Kwiocwiny, has rallied technocrats in the Zombo district to engage the beneficiaries through maximum sensitisation since many are already having the funds at their disposal.
“These people need to be sensitized, technocrats and other leaders you shouldn’t sit now. Let’s sensitize our people on how to utilize the funds appropriately” Kwiocwiny Said.
Under the seven pillars of the PDM programme, the government intends to strengthen farmers’ access to agricultural extension services, finance business and management training, build infrastructure and systems that support the processing and marketing of Uganda’s agricultural products, strengthen participatory planning by local communities to collectively identify bottlenecks that affect local economic development amongst others. This according to analysts can best be achieved by high end sensitisation of the communities especially by technocrats at the local government level.