Newly rolled out Parish Development model already stained by corruption and bribery allegations
ACFIM has taken keen interest in monitoring how government will inject UGX 1,059.5 billion ($ 2,998,818,051) to the 10,595 parishes to finance the much talked about Parish Development Model (PDM). Each parish will receive UGX 100 million ($ 28,298) which will be lent out to beneficiaries at an interest rate of 6% per annum. The PDM was conceptualized as a last mile strategy for service delivery; and improving incomes and welfare of all Ugandans at the household level.
The model is among the many programmes that Government has designed to achieve the 3rd National Development Plan (2020/21 to 2024/25) whose goal is to increase household incomes and improve the quality of life of Ugandans.
The cabinet ministers and some Members of Parliament have been on ground to strengthen the ideology of the Parish Development Model for the beneficiaries. A section of certain community leaders feels excluded from the extensive mobilisation of citizens to benefit from the PDM. This begs the question, where are the local leaders in the grand scheme of things?
Speaking about participation, the religious leaders are already complaining that they have been excluded, yet they are central stakeholders in the mobilization of citizens. The Youth also under their umbrella of National Youth Council are also demanding for government to allocate 35% of the funds going to each parish to the youth groups.
How will disbursement and withdrawal of funds be monitored?
SecretsKnown has learnt that government has instructed all banks that will be used for the distribution of funds to the parishes to send alert messages to the members through their phone numbers indicating the posting and withdrawal of money by responsible signatories. This is intended to promote transparency and accountability in the management of the funds. SecretsKnown would like to commend government for coming up with such a plan to deal with potential mismanagement of the funds.
Bribery detected in the registration of Beneficiaries
SecretsKnown has established that some of the parish chiefs in different sub-counties of Kikuube district allegedly extorted money from potential beneficiaries during the registration process. The parish chiefs in question are said to have been ordered to return the money to the beneficiaries.
The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Robina Nabbanja has temporarily suspended the Parish Development Model in the districts of Mityana and Kasanda because the model was not being run properly and there were allegations of corruption during the registration process.
It must be noted that corruption has been one of the major setbacks that failed the previous poverty alleviation initiatives like the Entandikwa scheme; Bona Bagagawale (Prosperity for all); Operation Wealth Creation; Youth Livelihood Programme; Uganda Women Empowerment Programme and Emyooga among others that were once designed and implemented by government.
Although government intends to use the Parish Development Model to ensure that 39% of Ugandans stuck in poverty are moved into the money economy using its seven pillars of; Production, Storage, Processing and Marketing; Infrastructure and Economic Services; Financial Inclusion; Social Services; Mindset change; Parish Based Management Information System; and Governance and Administration. Many Ugandans think the model is not likely to achieve its goal because of deep-rooted problems including corruption, poor sensitization and politicization of the government initiatives. which too affected the previous poverty alleviation initiatives that government designed.
SecretsKnown is running a PDM performance tracker and will publish any developments on how the PDM is being run.