Cooperatives & Communities

Misuse of PDM cash: Nwoya RDC orders arrest of officials

NWOYA-Nwoya district officials are in panic after they failed to account for some of the Parish Development Model [PDM] funds disbursed to the district by government and now face arrest.

Christopher Omara, the Nwoya Resident District Commissioner [RDC] said he has ordered the arrest of the officials who have failed to return PDM money in spite of the warning sent earlier to them.

Government disbursed Shs 417 million to the district. However, an investigation last week established that over Shs 208mln was diverted as the implementation of the program commenced.

It was also found out that of Shs 262mln meant for revolving funds, only Shs 104mln was deposited. Shs 99mln was used to pay salaries of parish chiefs instead of Shs 60mln budgeted for this purpose.

The investigation also revealed that of the Shs 49mln allocated for procurement of equipment including computers, no equipment was actually bought.

Some of the affected departments whose officials face arrest include finance and administration, and the former chief administrative officer.

Omara told this reporter that his orders for the arrest of the suspects follow a directive from the line ministry to ensure that the PDM funds are not misused and that officials found to have misappropriated the money be arrested.

“We cannot sit and see money meant to support the community members fight poverty diverted by officials who are paid salaries to work, this is unacceptable,” Omara said.

Gabriel Richard Atama, the Nwoya district chief administrative officer in a letter dated September 13, 2022, gave until September 15, 2022, at the close of the day, for the affected officials to return the funds to the district cashier.

However, according to Omara, no funds were returned by any of the district officials.

Recently, Kitgum district chief administrative officer and other district officials were arrested over mismanagement of the PDM funds.

Under the PDM, from the financial year 2022/23, each parish is expected to receive Shs 100mln revolving funds per year for five years for groups to borrow and engage in income-generating activities.

The PDM SACCOs are in charge of receiving and lending the money to groups at 5 percent per annum as government aims to move the poorest households from subsistence to a money economy.

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