SOROTI– Vice President Jessica Alupo Epel has urged leaders at lower local government levels and other stakeholders to sensitise their communities on the Parish Development Model [PDM].
Alupo who is also the Woman Member of Parliament for Katakwi district said that the PDM will thrive only if leaders at different levels appreciate the government’s intention of alleviating household poverty and changing 39 percent of Ugandans still under subsistence farming into commercial farming and money economy.
She made the remarks over the weekend while handing over four newly constructed housing units to victims of election violence in Kapujan Subcounty, Katakwi district, on behalf of President Museveni.
The victims who received the houses include those of the late Mark Elobat from Palam Sub-county in Ngariam County and late Teresa Akiror of Apule village in Kapujan, Lucy Apenyo of Apule village, and Charles Otiang also of Apule village, Toroma County who were shot at the polling station and sustained serious injuries during the 2021 general elections.
While handing over the houses to the families, Alupo, who was accompanied by the State House Comptroller Miss Jane Barekye condoled with the families who lost their loved ones and said that the government has the capacity to give justice to victims.
She also assured them that the government will work continuously to bring the culprits to book and urged law enforcement agencies to follow up on the issues to their logical conclusion.
Alupo thanked Museveni, for creating and maintaining an enabling environment for Ugandans to enjoy security for the last three decades, in spite of these isolated incidences of criminality.
She also rallied the residents to take a keen interest in Government Development Programs geared at increasing household incomes, especially the DM.
Her comments followed numerous questions raised by several leaders and other stakeholders, who express doubt over whether the program will attain its intended objectives.
Simon Opus, the LCI chairperson Apule village in Kapujan sub-county expressed worry that the program, will likely not achieve its intended purpose, of improving the livelihoods of Ugandans.
He said that there are still people, who still believe that the funds being disbursed under the PDM, are a presidential token to the electorate.
Simon Otim, another local leader, noted that other government programs like Operation Wealth Creation [OWC], Emyooga, Women Entrepreneurship Programme [WEP], and Youth Livelihood Programme [YLP], have had challenges, which marred their implementation, leading to the programs not benefiting the targeted Ugandans as intended.
However, in response, Alupo observed that the government thoughtfully structured and designed the PDM program, under 7 pillars in order to address the challenges of the previous programs.
Alupo added that the design of the PDM is that the programme is only targeting the 39 percent subsistence poor Ugandans, to propel them into a money economy.
“The parish development model has been designed to improve the purchasing power of our rural population. I, therefore, implore my fellow leaders at all levels whether political, cultural or religious to stop lamenting and instead sensitize and encourage the population to embrace this model of development because it is focused on curing the wealth problems of our people,” Alupo said.
On her part, the State House Comptroller Jane Barekye noted that government has continued to fight household poverty among its residents, adding that in the last 10 years, Ugandans who were below the Poverty line stood at 68percent, and the percentage has since been lowered up 39percent, who are now also being targeted under the PDM.
She decried the challenge of ideological disorientation among the majority of the population who despite the government’s interventions intended to alleviate poverty in the community fail to transform themselves due to poor mindset.
Barekye said that the reason why people are not benefiting from government programs is that they are not fully involved in them.
In order to come out of poverty, she called upon the public to desist from negative thinking in government programs that intend to uplift them.
According to her, government initiatives like the newly launched parish development model, if well embraced by the rural population, will improve their purchasing power and uplift them from subsistence production into a real money economy.
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