Eight municipal officials arrested over alleged PDM fraud in Busia

Police in Busia Municipality have arrested eight people over the alleged mismanagement of the Parish Development Model-PDM funds.

BUSIA, UGANDA: Police in Busia Municipality have arrested eight people over the alleged mismanagement of the Parish Development Model-PDM funds.

The officers who had been on the run for days were arrested by the Busia Deputy Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Grace Kanuna, on Friday and handed them over to Busia Police Station for detention.

The suspects include parish chiefs, secretaries, chairpersons of parish development committees, and alleged beneficiaries who were brought in to be enrolled.

According to Kanuna, the suspects were detained for smuggling and registering non-Busia municipality residents to the wards in the town.

The deputy RDC said as a result of the alleged unscrupulous behaviour by the suspects, residents yearning to be part of PDM have been left out.

The arrests come after Busia RDC, Michael Kibwika, directed the police to open a general inquiries file following the discovery that some beneficiaries were paid less than one million shillings.

During a meeting with PDM stakeholders in Busia town, Kibwika expressed disappointment and blamed the parish development committee for assessing and deciding how much beneficiaries should be given.

He added that such tendencies were meant to keep people outside the money economy, which the government is fighting by ensuring that beneficiaries get at least one million shillings to engage in production.

The launch of the PDM programme, which was scheduled to take place in the library, was cancelled by Kibwika, who intended it to be a big event with all stakeholders in attendance.

Busia municipality has been struggling with the management of the PDM programme from its inception. The beneficiaries complained that parish chiefs and members of the parish development committee were following them up to request kickbacks after learning that they had withdrawn the money.

The Parish Development Model was launched in 2021 as the last mile strategy for service delivery by the Government of Uganda for improving the incomes and welfare of Ugandans at the household level.

The programme is an extension of the whole-of-government approach to development envisaged under NDP III, with the Parish as the lowest administrative and operational hub for delivering services closer to the people and hence fostering local economic development.

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