Commercial banks have come under fire from Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba for taking money out of Parish Development Model (PDM) accounts.
On Friday, October 13, the minister learned that certain banks in the Mubende region were taking up to sh20,000 out of every sh1 million intended for the beneficiaries, with the intention of enabling them to participate in the labor force and the financial system.
According to her, this might have an impact on the PDM, the government’s most recent initiative to reduce poverty, which aims to assist the 39% of households in the subsistence sector.
“I do think that these kinds of deductions are prohibited. Recipients must get the entire amount specified in their applications. The PDM docket manager for the wider Mubende area, Nabakooba, stated, “We need to take this seriously and follow up.”
She said this while keeping an eye on the program’s development in the Mityana district’s three sub-counties: Bulera, Kalangaalo, and Kikandwa.
Since the majority of the beneficiaries have not cultivated a relationship with banks, it is imperative that bank workers provide exceptional customer care. Let’s collaborate to effectively deliver this initiative, she remarked.
One of the numerous districts where PDM revolving money have been distributed to beneficiaries is Mityana.
The minister was also informed that 90% of the sh8.1b had been distributed and was being used by users.
The Mityana beneficiaries, however, protested to her that Opportunity Bank had taken sh20,000 out of each sh1m and given them sh980,000 instead.
She requested that the bank reimburse her for the money and replace the private security guard who reportedly treats customers unfairly when they enter the bank to process their money.
“I don’t understand why people pay for everything that is necessary and then you take that money away from them. Refund customer funds and allow other institutions to expedite the program, she declared.
In order for individuals to gain from the initiative, Nabakooba encouraged leaders to host seminars, instruct people on how to use the money, and prod them to create entrepreneurship groups.
She begged the local authorities to “teach them how to utilize this money so that they don’t misuse it.”
She set the district’s leaders a two-week deadline to transfer the recipients’ remaining monies from their PDM accounts.
She said, “Give out all the funds because they are meant for our people so that we can give more people when we receive more PDM funds this fiscal year.”
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The person in charge of overseeing the execution of government programs in Mityana, Emmanuel Zirabamuzaale, stated that there was no extortion in the district and that he would follow the minister’s instructions to guarantee that all anticipated recipients of this first PDM funding tranche have the funds in their accounts by the end of October.
“We will expedite the procedure to guarantee that each individual is integrated into the appropriate groups and completes the remaining steps to obtain the funds,” he declared.
In order to be eligible to receive the funds, an individual must meet specific requirements such as belonging to a particular enterprise group, having a bank account, and having a national identity card with a registered mobile phone number.
The eight parishes in Jackson Kamya’s district, the chairperson of Kikandwa LCIII, have received sh107 million, with each SACCO receiving the same amount.
“We are grateful that President Yoweri Museveni never forgets about the underprivileged Ugandans.” Our current hope is that the recipients would spend the funds wisely and repay us after three years so that our community may grow,” he stated.
He cautioned recipients who got funding but did not use it as planned to start working on the initiatives they had requested funding for right away.
Three projects were agreed upon by the people of Mityana to be completed under PDM. These include raising dairy cows, cultivating coffee, and raising chickens. Nabakooba, however, urged recipients to contribute to any initiative as long as the funds are being used for worthwhile endeavors.
The majority of the residents of the 11 parishes in the area, according to Kalangaalo PDM chairman Rogers Ssenkaayi, engaged in coffee projects, but they have been severely impacted by coffee wilt disease.
He requested that the government provide extension workers to assist them in containing the illness.
In response, Nabakooba promised to put extension workers in the district in touch with ministry of agriculture technocrats in order to find a quick fix for the issue.