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Seven arrested over extorting money from PDM beneficiaries

KAPELEBYONG, May 22, 2024 – Seven board members of Amotom- Okungur PDM SACCO in Kapelebyong district have been arrested over the extortion money from the programme’s beneficiaries.

According to the Resident District Commissioner [RDC] of Kapelebyong, Tom Olinga Otukol, the arrest of the suspects followed a recent meeting where some beneficiaries complained of being frustrated by the SACCO board members who ask for bribes.

Those arrested include Silver Ogwang [Chairperson], Margaret Amulo [Secretary], Sarah Acham [Treasurer], Moses Opiding [Chairperson Loans Committee], and Charles Emitu [ Secretary Loans Committee].

Others are treasurer loans Rebecca Akia [Treasurer Loans Committee], and Simon Peter Ekanya [Chairperson Supervisor Committee], while two are on the run.

The RDC said those arrested gave statements to the police.

He said the culprits solicited Shs 30,000 from each of the 46 members of the PDM SACCO in order to have the money sent to their bank accounts.

Upon interrogation, Olinga said the board members acknowledged receiving the money from the programme’s beneficiaries.

“They received the money claiming that it would be for office rent, buying a saving box, office telephone among others,” Olinga said.

Olinga advised communities in Kapelebyong district not to allow being exploited by SACCO leaders, saying it is unlawful.

The PDM [Parish Development Model] is a Government strategy or approach for organising and delivering public and private sector interventions for wealth creation and employment generation at the parish level as the lowest economic planning unit.
The programme launched in February 2022, aims to move 3.5 million households from the subsistence to the money economy through commercial agriculture, where the beneficiaries are required to engage in enterprises like coffee, fruits, fish farming, dairy farming, produce trade, piggery, and poultry keeping among others.
Each beneficiary of the programme receives Shs 1mln to invest in the enterprise of their choice, and are required to  refund the money with some little interest to the parish revolving fund after two years of investment.

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