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Soldiers irked as spouses miss PDM money

GULU, October 16, 2023 – Wives to the soldiers of Uganda People’s Defence Forces [UPDF] Fourth Division Infantry Barracks in Gulu City have missed out on the first disbursement of the Parish Development Model [PDM] funds, leaving their husbands irritated.

The 4th Division Army Commander, Brig. Gen. Michael Kabango raised the concern to Gulu City Council authorities on Sunday during the 61st belated independence celebrations at the barracks.

He has appealed to Gulu City to include the soldiers’ wives in key government projects, something he says has not been considered over the years.

“We have soldiers whose wives live with us here in the barracks and they are vulnerable like the population in this region. They don’t have technical skills for survival and they are never considered in the livelihood empowerment projects,” Kabango observed.

The Army Fourth Division public relations officer, Major Telesphor Turyamumanya told this reporter in an interview that the wives of the soldiers are more than 3,000 living in the barracks.

He noted despite the government rolling out many initiatives for socioeconomic transformation, the families of soldiers have not been targeted by such programmes.

“We are as army men, and our wives have not t been targeted by government projects such as the PDM. We have children who are growing up and we want our families to be part of those that are transformed and empowered economically,” Telesphor further explained.

The Bardege-Layibi Division Member of Parliament, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi who was the chief guest at the belated independence celebrations  asked the Gulu City authorities to include wives of soldiers into the PDM.

The Gulu City Mayor Alfred Okwonga admitted the omission but noted that the women in the Barracks will be included in the second phase of the implementation of the project.

He disclosed that Gulu City has already approved money for 32 parishes, and 28 of them have received their money while the remaining four parishes receive theirs in the coming days.

He however noted they will recruit more town agents who can focus on the women living in the barracks.

“The government gave us Shs 3.2 billion and we shall again receive the same amount in the coming year and we expect to cover areas where we haven’t reached including the barracks,” Okwonga explained.

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