The Inspectorate of Government (IG) has asked for Parish Development Model (PDM) recipients to be educated on the creation of business plans and the right selection of sustainable commercial businesses.
Following a week-long monitoring and inspection exercise of the PDM in Iganga district, the deputy IGG Dr. Patricia Achan Okiria stated that the team found some failing firms due to unguided implementation.
She noticed that in certain regions, beneficiaries had transferred from their original firms to new businesses where they lacked expertise, producing confusion and losses.
Furthermore, the inspectorate requests that the government establish procedures for tracking PDM funds and payments at the national, district, parish, and beneficiary levels, as well as increase supervision and monitoring at all levels.
According to Dr. Okiria, the administrative structure under PDM should ensure that redress mechanisms are in place to allow beneficiaries to seek redress in the event of a complaint.
“In one case, someone found his name on the beneficiaries list but never received any funds.” “We want all beneficiaries to have a remedy,” she remarked to stakeholders on Friday at the Iganga district council hall.
Sub-county chiefs, parish chiefs, chairpersons of savings and credit cooperative societies (SACCOS), and department heads attended the meeting.
Dr. Okiria, who stated that the inspectorate has begun a countrywide monitoring of PDM implementation, revealed that the agency had begun inquiries into inequalities in funding allocated to various recipient categories.
This came after Abubaker Nyiiro, chairman of Nakalama Parish PDM SACCOS, protested that his organization had only received sh100 million while others had received up to sh117 million.
Robert Wekiya, a local leader in the Nakalama sub-county, was concerned that, despite their mobilization efforts, they lacked facilitation while being banned from asking for assistance.
The leaders also want the government to increase PDM financing so that more people can enroll.
Dr. Okiria stated that the issue of facilitation for local leaders and program implementers was included in their report and will be examined further with the relevant ministry.
According to Annet Twine, the IG’s director of Project Risk, Monitoring, and Control, there has been an outcry about extortion of cash by PDM implementers such as parish chiefs, diversion of funds by some beneficiaries, and unauthorized bank withdrawals from beneficiaries’ accounts.
Despite a few hiccups, she stated that the program was on track and that community members were really excited about it.
Beneficiaries were active in cattle keeping, horticulture, fish farming, coffee growing, piggery, bricklaying, and trading in the 12 parishes visited in the four sub-counties of Nakalama, Nawaningi, Nakigo, and Bulamagi.
The IG team discovered, among other things, that the PDM beneficiaries lacked enough training and sensitization, and hence had insufficient abilities in operating the selected firms, citing poultry as an example where some witnessed mass deaths of chicks.
While parish chiefs and town agents are obligated under the PDM standards to supervise program execution, it was discovered that there was insufficient monitoring and oversight due to a shortage of resources.
According to the resident district commissioner Wandera Sadala, a total of sh 4,554,135,967 was disbursed to the district under the PDM programme, of which sh 4,483,000,000 (98.4%) has already been allocated to the 4,483 beneficiaries.