MPs Concerned Over Slow Implementation of PDM in Karamoja

Karenga district officials (L-R): John Bosco Okello (PDM Focal Person), Hellen Auma and Charles Uma (CAO, Karenga district) appearing before the Committee on Public Service on Monday 23 October 2023. PHOTO/COURTESY

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | Members of Parliament on the Public Service and Local Government Committee have expressed concerns regarding the Parish Development Model (PDM) program’s implementation in the Karamoja sub-region. During a meeting with district leaders from Karenga, Kole, Napak, and Otuke districts on October 23, 2023, MPs raised these concerns.

According to Committee Chairperson Hon. Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the status of PDM implementation in the Karamoja sub-region is at just 15%, based on a report from area MPs who visited their respective constituencies. Mapenduzi observed, “This is very worrying. Karamoja received money, which is lying in SACCO accounts, but the beneficiaries are not able to access it.”

The MPs’ report highlighted various challenges, including difficulties in accessing bank services and other administrative requirements. For example, in Karenga district, residents have to travel a considerable distance to access banking services in Moroto, which significantly hampers program implementation.

Charles Uma, the Chief Administrative Officer of Karenga district, acknowledged the slow progress and attributed it to poor administration, particularly the previous CAO operating remotely from Mbale.

Concerns were also raised about authorities charging beneficiaries a percentage for account activation. Some beneficiaries were reportedly unclear about the purpose of the PDM funds, seeing them as a personal gift rather than a development program.

Additionally, issues with internet connectivity were highlighted, affecting tasks like data entry. Participants called for improved connectivity and support to procure laptops and printers at the sub-county level to facilitate the organization and printing of payment vouchers for beneficiaries.

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