Gov’t Issues Tough Directives To Curb Corruption in PDM Project

In a bid to enforce transparency and eradicate ghost beneficiaries from the Parish Development Model (PDM) programme, Local Government leaders have been tasked to publish and pin lists of beneficiaries on their office notice boards with immediate effect.

This is according to a directive issued Tuesday by the Minister for the Presidency, Milly Babirye Babalanda. While launching the 5-day Manifesto Monitoring and Validation retreat for leaders from Greater Eastern Uganda at the National Leadership Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi, Babalanda revealed that the move is part of government’s policy of zero tolerance to corruption in service delivery.

“Please ensure that you pin the lists of beneficiaries on your noticeboards and also avail the same lists at the venues of the PDM meetings at the parishes. What we want is for this programme to be as corrupt-free as possible,” Babalanda told the manifesto stakeholders who convened at NALI under the auspices of the Manifesto Implementation Unit (MIU) of the Office of the President. The leaders who include Resident District Commissioners, Chief Administrative officers, LC5 District Chairpersons and NRM District Chairpersons were drawn from the Eastern Uganda sub-regions of Bugisu, Bukedi, Sebei, Busoga and Karamoja.

Willis Bashaasha, the Director MIU; the chief convener of the retreat, revealed that it was intended to create coordination and strengthen operational synergies between the different manifesto stakeholders so as to enforce consistency in reporting on the manifesto commitments as well as assessing the progress realized so far.

“Manifesto implementation is a completely non-partisan process which requires maximum teamwork by the various stakeholders who must all play their roles so as to fulfill government programmes for the socioeconomic development of the citizens. This is why we invite all these leaders so that we can have honest conversations and get firsthand information and answers from the people who are directly in charge of the implementation mix,” he said.

Bashaasha reminded the participants at the retreat about the importance of teamwork, urging them to avoid petty fights which may derail effective service delivery to Ugandans.

“As leaders there’s no way you’ll move your areas forward when working in isolation. Exercise humility where necessary for the sake of teamwork; we all work for the interests of the people, therefore humbling yourself for this noble cause won’t take away your titles,” he said.

Minister Babalanda being received at the retreat by MIU Directior Willis Bashaasha (L) and NALI Director Brig. Charles Kisembo on Tuesday

Bashaasha made specific reference to disagreements revolving around the PDM implementation, warning that the government will not allow anything to come in the way of the success of the programme earmarked as the multipurpose vehicle for socioeconomic transformation this political term.

“The PDM is a do-or-die project so its success is non-negotiable,” he warned.

Echoing Bashaasha’s warning, Presidency Minister Babalanda revealed that the government had learnt that corruption tendencies were high on the list of threats to the successful implementation of the PDM.

She however warned that the presidency would not hesitate to decisively deal with any leader found guilty of perpetuating corruption in PDM or any other government programme.

She revealed that the presidency had thus adopted total transparency among the various strategies to stem corruption from the PDM.

She directed the Local Government leaders that apart from pinning the beneficiaries’ lists on notice boards, RDCs should also read such lists on air each time they appear on the media to defend and popularize government programmes.

According to Julius Kapwepwe, the Technical Advisor on PDM at the PDM Secretariat, the poverty-alleviation programme has so far been launched in 60 districts, benefiting 9726 Saccos which has received about Shs300bn as of April 15, 2023.

The programme was designed to specifically help in hauling the 39% (or 16.1million) Ugandans still locked in the subsistence economy into the money economy.

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