RUHINDA – The Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has given out 25 brand new HP laptops to parish chiefs in Ruhinda North, Mitooma District to help in the implementation of the Parish Development Model.
Tayebwa who is the Ruhinda North area Member of Parliament also distributed 6 (six) brand new HP printers to all the sub counties that make up his constituency.
Tayebwa was responding to feedback from PDM beneficiaries after multiple reports indicated that parish chiefs were illegally charging between 10,000 and 40,000 to put each beneficiary on the system.
He gave out the laptops and printers during a meeting with all parish chiefs and Parish Sacco Chairpersons together with the district political and technical leadership. The meeting sought to review findings from the community engagements that he had held on PDM.
“As I go on holding barazas at the parish level in Ruhinda North on Parish Development Model, I have found out that local leaders in some areas introduced their own extra guidelines. For example, they made it mandatory that husbands must sign for their wives before being approved. The commercial officer Mitooma district was also clearing all payments before the release of funds by banks. People are also being charged UGX 10,000/= to be put on the system and then more money for coordination purposes,” Mr. Tayebwa indicated.
He said the illegal charges and interferences are in violation of the guidelines and he reminded parish chiefs to desist from such illegal practices.
The deputy speaker also provided 10000 Parish Development Model applications forms for his constituents after reports emerged that beneficiaries were being charged UGX 51000 to print a 17-pager application form. He said the printers put at each sub-county in Ruhinda North will also help to reduce the costs of application forms.
“I have been in my constituency for the last two days monitoring government programs and engaging the community on wealth creation with a major focus on the Parish Development Model. Holding meetings at the parish level has helped me pick useful information from both beneficiaries and those who are yet to benefit. From the feedback I have so far received, PDM is going to change the fortunes of my constituents. Apart from a few implementation challenges, the community is overwhelmingly appreciative of this government programme,” Tayebwa said of PDM, a government model a seven-pillar foundation that is intended to uplift 39% of households from subsistence to the money economy.
He said that most of the issues in Mitooma are the same spread across the country and indicated that he would share with the Prime Minister, Minister for Local Government, and PDM Secretariat to ensure they are sorted.
Similar implementation challenges have been identified across the country. Reacting to some of the Deputy Speaker’s social media posts, Ugandans shared similar frustration relating to illegal charges by PDM officers in their areas.
Moses Bohya from Kasese district indicated that in his parish Kanyatsi, Kyarumba Sub-county, Kasese district, beneficiaries were being charged between 50k to 100k and this was a general collection.
“Parish chiefs would be given 10k for every message notification on each step, then 20k for signing the voucher,” Bohya alleged.
Another user, Kisoma Samuel Gracious alleged that beneficiaries in Mayuge district are being charged up to 100,000/= to be put on the system. “The PDM management teams consider their relatives first. In Bugweri district a beneficiary takes half of the money.”
Nebart Nathan claimed that beneficiaries are charged UGX 30000 for PDM funds application.
Other users asked parliament leadership to create a platform that allows Ugandans to share feedback on all government programmes.
“Kindly create a platform where the members of the public are free to send their feedback as far as government programs are concerned, especially this PDM program. Then you will be able to display for all MPs and Ministers to see what is down here. Together we can fight corruption,” a user under the Initiative for Peace and Development for Uganda wrote.
“Kindly Right Hon: Tayebwa, this practice of charging the already weak and vulnerable money for coordination and putting them in the system is even here in Busia Municipality. Kindly handle this in your capacity not as an MP for Mitooma but as a pressing issue,” they added.
The Parish Development Model positions the Parish as the epicenter of multi-sectoral community development, planning, implementation, supervision, and accountability. The PDM has seven Pillars including Production, Storage, Processing, and Marketing; Infrastructure and Economic Services; Financial Inclusion and Social Services.
Others are Mindset change; Parish Based Management Information System (PDMIS) and Governance and Administration.