The Parish Development Model (PMD) program has failed to take off in Kyotera district due to the delayed release of funds and sensitisation of the beneficiaries.
Local authorities at different levels are worried that the delayed sensitisation of the beneficiaries may lead to misallocation of funds and frustrate the program objectives.
They say that over Shs 300 million meant for the program is still on the district account despite being released in time by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
The government disbursed PDM funds for 10,594 parishes across the country, which each parish getting Shs 17 million this Financial Year in the first phase of the program.
The parishes are expected to receive Shs 100 million in the next financial year 2022/2023.
Antonio Kalyango, the Lwankoni Sub-county Councilor, says that the district is left with only two months for the first phase of the program to expire.
Kalyango notes that the funds may be returned to the coffers of the Ministry of Finance if they are not utilised.
He appealed to the government to intervene and rectify the challenge before it is too late.
Francis Kizza, the Kyebe LC III chairperson, says that they have not sensitised the parish groups that are supposed to benefit from the funds yet the first quarter is left with only two months to close.
He says that several districts have already taken off and their people are on the move to benefit from the program.
Kizza explains that the people in Kyebe are not well versed with the new program due to the lack of sensitization, which leads to mismanagement of funds.
He noted that preparing the SACCOs at the parish level for the program is important and enhances the proper allocation of the funds to the right projects.
Apollo Mugume, the Kyotera Resident District Commissioner, says that returning the money to the government treasury may greatly affect the district.
He says that he consulted about the matter and is waiting for a team from Kampala to do the sensitisation of the leaders and guide them on what to do.
According to Gabriel Bwayo, the Kyotera Chief Administrative Officer, he was instructed by Ramanthan Ggoobi, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance not to withdraw the funds from the district account until further guidance.
He says that he was also waiting for a team from Kampala to sensitise district leaders.
However, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said that the delayed release of funds is delaying people’s opportunity to benefit from the program.
She pledged to ensure that the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance works with the Kyotera CAO to address the matter.
The PDM program is designed under seven pillars, which include production, storage, processing and marketing, infrastructure and economic services.
Others are financial inclusion, social services, mindset change, parish-based management information system, governance, and administration.
The model aims at helping the people at the parish level to increase their household incomes and enable them to join the money economy.
It further emphasises the approach of ensuring increased production, processing and marketing, infrastructure, and service delivery at the grassroots