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PDM money is being spent on marriages and household items, says Ofwono

KAMPALA, September 16, 2023 – Some of the Ugandans who received the money under the Parish Development Model [PDM] are spending it on marriages and household items like mattresses, and food, according to government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo.

According to Ofwono who was on Saturday speaking on Capital Gang, a political talk show on Capital Radio in Kampala, inflation in some villages has shot up as people use the PDM money to buy household items instead of spending it on commercial production.

“I have been to Gulu, Kitgum, Amuria, Kapelebyong, Tororo, and Butaleja. People are spending the money on weddings, mattresses, and food. Inflation in the villages has increased due to PDM money. ‘Government has disbursed the money but there is abuse which we need to deal with,” he said.

According to Moses Byaruhanga, a senior presidential advisor in charge of political mobilisation, the PDM targets full monitisation of the economy, and all the 10,594 parishes in Uganda have received Shs 100m meant for the financial year 2022/ 2023, with government ready to disburse more Shs100m to each parish in the current financial year.

Byaruhanga who was speaking on the same talk show on Capital Radio said the PDM Money is meant for activities in the agricultural value chain, although he also conceded the money has been abused in some areas of the country.

Ofwono further said the beneficiaries are also not spending the money on the enterprises they chose. Some of the PDM enterprise crops include coffee, bananas, dairy farming, fish farming, beans, shea nuts, macadamia maize, beekeeping, and poultry keeping among others.

He said there is a need for government to address weaknesses in the implementation of the PDM so as to achieve socio-economic transformation.

He said some district leaders don’t have records of beneficiaries of the PDM, although he added there is also a challenge of abusing the programme meant to fight poverty in poor households by sub-county chiefs, parish chiefs, leaders of PDM SACCOs, who ask beneficiaries for commission.

Early this month, Tororo district leaders headed by the deputy resident district commissioner, Albert Amula intervened in the disbursement of money for Gwaragwara parish in Kisoko Sub-county, following discovery of ghost beneficiaries and extortions.

However, Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda while also contributing to the debate on the Capital Gang, said the one trillion shillings budgeted for the PDM each financial year is too little to create a positive impact in the country. According to government, the programme will run for five years.

Byaruhanga urged the Members of Parliament to play their oversight role to ensure the PDM money reaches the intended beneficiaries in their constituencies.

Phiona Nyamutooro, the National Female Youth MP also speaking on Capital Gang on Saturday urged the government to go back to the drawing board if the PDM is to achieve its objectives, saying many Ugandans, including the youth lack financial discipline.

Nyamutooro said much as the youth have been allocated 30 percent of the PDM money, they are finding it hard to access the money, although Bryaruhanga said some youth in districts such as Kiryandongo have received their share of the money.

The PDM, launched in February 2022, is a multi-sectoral strategy for socio-economic transformation, aimed at moving the 39 percent of Ugandan households in the subsistence economy to the money economy.

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