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Chief Justice differs with Gen. Saleh over parish development model design

Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Chief Justice Alfonse Owiny-Dollo has criticized the chief coordinator of Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), Gen. Salim Saleh over the designs of the Parish Development Model, saying that it’s unfair to Acholi sub region.

Justice Owiny-Dollo says that the design of the Parish Development Model doesn’t take into consideration that Acholi sub region underwent 25 years of armed conflict, the longest any region in the country experienced.

The Parish Development model is one of the latest programmes initiated by the ruling National Resistance Movement government with the aim of addressing the poverty situation at the rural level. It extends the whole-of-government approach for development to the parish level as the lowest level unit for planning and development.

He says rolling out government programs in Acholi region on the same level with other areas in the country that never went through such experience wouldn’t address the problems the region has faced. Justice Owiny-Dollo suggested that the designers of the programme would have developed a village model instead of a Parish model for the Acholi sub-region.

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Justice Owiny-Dollo made the remarks while responding to Gen Saleh’s remarks at the send-off of former Deputy Inspector General of Police, Lt. Gen. Paul Lokech in Pader district last week. Gen Saleh told locals that the Parish Development Model is an initiative he participated in designing and has been on the tables of the government for the last 15 years.

He says the parish development model is the only way the government can get services to the population in the rural areas and asked the leaders in the region to rally behind it for the development of Acholi. According to Gen. Saleh, already 100 parishes in the Acholi sub-region are working on the parish development model under Project for Restoration of Livelihood in Northern Region-PRELNOR.

But Justice Owiny-Dollo noted that the region needed special intervention to address the quarter-century armed conflict that ravaged the region, leaving its citizens the poorest in the country and degraded the quality of education.

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The Parish Development model localizes Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan for effective measurement and management of development interventions. It comprises seven pillars that include production, processing and marketing (Value Chain Development), Infrastructure, and Economic services.

Others are financial inclusion, Social services, Community data (Community Information System), Governance & Administration and Mindset change. Early last month, the State Minister for Local Government Victoria Rusoke noted that the government had already sent in some undisclosed amount of money for the operationalization of the parish model. She notes that the government was also moving to start recruiting parish chiefs for the implementation of the programme.

The Parliament has since approved the implementation of the Parish Development Model, which will start operation in a phased approach with preliminary activities for the establishment of the necessary support structures and systems.


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