Manifesto Implementation Unit (MIU) Director, Willis Bashaasha, has lauded Ugandans for their increased commitment to the NRM government’s socioeconomic development agenda.
According to Bashaasha, the citizens’ commitment has manifested in their increased vigilance and demand for accountable service delivery, especially in regard to the parish development model (PDM).
Bashaasha’s observation comes on the backdrop of increased pressure on PDM coordinators who have not effectively executed their duty of mobilizing the masses and ensuring that PDM funds reach their actual beneficiaries.
“NRM is a pro-people government which encourages the participation and involvement of the wananchi in whatever concerns them. It is now encouraging to see that it is the people themselves scrutinizing those supposed to serve them and demanding that they do not divert these funds because they are purely meant for getting people out of poverty,” Bashaasha told this publication in an exclusive interview.
Bashaasha’s words come at a time when government, led by President Yoweri Museveni, has stepped up efforts to iron out all glitches in the Parish Development Model (PDM).
For instance, last week civil servants in Acholi sub-region sweated plasma after beneficiaries reported them to President Yoweri Museveni over allegations of misappropriating funds meant for poverty alleviation.
The beneficiaries told the president that despite money being released, the civil servants have not been very straight in making clear the modalities of their disbursement to intended beneficiaries. As a result, the PDM is yet to be felt on the ground.
And responding to the complaints, the president lauded the locals for coming out to speak the truth, which he said will help in addressing the challenges before it is too late.
The president vowed to crack the whip of PDM saboteurs, warning that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government will not fail to bring to book all those involved in messing up the Parish Development Model (PDM) in which the government has invested a lot of resources to get people out of poverty.
Echoing the President’s tour, Bashaasha — whose office is mandated to ensure the current manifesto is fully implemented, is happy that the citizens are leading the way in demanding for accountability on matters of socioeconomic development.
“Recently we had manifesto validation and monitoring tours and our message was that manifesto implementation is a complete cycle encompassing government, the implementers and the beneficiaries who are the citizens in this case. I’m now happy that the citizens are demanding for faultless service delivery, which is consistent with the government’s strategy to serve Ugandans effectively and efficiently in this political term,” Bashaasha said.
He thus appealed to citizens to actively involve themselves in seeking information about the PDM so as to join the programme and be able to uplift themselves from poverty.
The PDM programme was launched by President Yoweri Museveni in the eastern Uganda district of Kibuku. It was mooted in the NRM Manifesto 2021-2026 as the multipurpose vehicle for socioeconomic development, especially targeting the 3.5 million Ugandan households still under subsistence economy.
These Ugandans will be empowered through SACCOs formed at the parish level, where government intends to disburse funds meant to aid the poor to engage in productive startups which will cast them into the money economy.
The programme’s actual implementation has since kicked off, with Vice President Jessica Alupo, recently launching the Parish Revolving funds in line with Pillar No.3 (Financial inclusion) of the PDM. At a function held on December 14, 2022 at Ntenjeru Football Ground in Kayunga district, the VP disbursed the first revolving fund, sending PDM cash directly to the mobile money accounts of 32 households from Bukujju parish in Kayunga Sub County and 21 from Namagabi ward in Kayunga Town Council.
According to Local Government Minister Raphael Magyezi, regional launches and disbursement of PDM funds have been rolled out in various regions and districts of Uganda, with government now fighting tooth and nail to make it a success. This will help Uganda fully cast itself in the middle income economic status as envisaged in Vision 2040 of the National Development Plan III.