KIKUUBE, UGANDA: A section of residents of Kikuube District who registered for the parish Development Model (PDM) have accused project leaders of the delay to disburse the funds in the district.
The government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance came up with the PDM project aiming at deepening the decentralization process, improving household income, enabling inclusive sustainable balanced and equal socio-economic transformation and increasing accountability at local levels.
The beneficiaries of the project were told to make groups, form Saccos and register a joint bank account where the money was to be sent to them in terms of soft loans in order to develop their local projects like farming among others.
However, the project has not been pleasant to Kikuube residents after a long wait by the beneficiaries hence raising mixed reactions.
Joseph Wamara a resident of Kyamujoogo villages, Ijwanjura parish in Kabwoya Sub-county, Kikuube District says the delay by the district authorities to okay their respective Saccos to withdraw money that was sent on their account has left their planned projects unfulfilled.
“Farmers especially we who planned for large-scale agriculture have been dealt with a big blow because we cultivated the land with expectations of utilizing the PDM money to buy seeds and seedlings for planting but all in vain and now the planting season is already gone,” he said.
Wamara adds that a few farmers who managed to buy seeds are facing challenges in looking after their farms since they have no funds to pay workers to weed and also buy pesticides.
He says their several attempts to get feedback on the delays of the PDM cash are yet to yield since their leaders do not give them a clear response.
Musa Mugisa the Buhimba town council Mayor says the delay has not only affected farmers but also other residents who had planned to use the PDM money for other projects.
“The delay has not only affected farmers but also other people who had planned to utilize the PDM cash to set various businesses have lost morale after a long wait,” Mayor said.
Susan Kabasindi the Buhimba town council woman councillor accuses the project implementors of failing to have a well-stream-lined plan on how the money disbursement process will run.
“A 2 to 3 weeks back, we were told that Kikuube District is going to launch the PDM project soon and we went ahead to inform our voters who were in our neck asking the where about of the money, but up to now we are yet any further information regarding the matter which is very unfortunate to our local people,” she said.
However, Dr Barnabas Ntume the Kikuube District Production office and doubles as the PDM focal person in the district asked residents to remain calm adding that the PDM money disbursement has a lot of procedures to be followed before the official release to avoid mistakes.
Dr Ntume says they have waiting for the IT people from the Ministry of Information and Technology Kampala to come to give us the user rights to access the PDM online system and start registering the beneficiaries under the systems as stated in the disbursement guidelines.
“We don’t want to mistake the PDM guidelines like other districts did the good thing is the money is on their account and the signatories are with them, as the district we have done all that it takes to ensure the success of the project and we are waiting for the IT specialists from Kampala to give us user rights to access the UBOS system who promised to come either on Wednesday or Thursday this week and then we shall upload the names of the beneficiaries later they start receiving their money,” Dr Ntume said.
According to Dr Ntume, the disbursement process is expected in two weeks’ time but however, warned the beneficiaries to utilize the PDM money for purposes if given to them to avoid challenges that may arise after failing to pay back the money since it’s a loan.
“Some of you want to use this money for luxurious life, but remember this is loan money which has to be paid back to the government, so please utilize this money for a purpose to avoid future problems that may come as a result of your deliberate failure to pay back the money,” he added.
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