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Chief Finance, Production officers quizzed as PDM launch flops in Kabale

Kalisa (standing) ,reacting on Parish Chiefs’ concerns on delayed payment (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya/URN

Kabale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kabale District Production and Marketing Officer Beda Mwebesa, and the District Chief Finance Officer Julius Mujuni, have been tasked to explain why the Parish Development Model-PDM is struggling in the area.

The matter came up during a meeting that had been organised between parish, sub-county chiefs and town agents from across Kabale and Joveline Kalisa, the PDM Deputy National Coordinator to organize the launch of the program today.

However, a few minutes before the start of the meeting, parish chiefs and town agents started displaying placards demanding allowances budgeted at 250,000 Shillings for each of them. The money was reportedly budgeted to cover expenses on stationery, refreshments, monitoring and organizing meetings incurred over the last three quarters.

But shortly before Kalisa entered the council hall, Mwebesa, who is also the Kabale District Focal Person in charge of the PDM Program plucked off some of the placards with inscriptions seeking payment of the said money. But he was loudly booed by the parish chiefs and town agents to attract Kalisa’s attention.

Kabale Deputy District Internal Security Officer Gerald Turyatemba plucked off the remaining placards and handed them to Kalisa. In the process, Kabale Deputy Resident District Commissioner Ronald Bakak expressed regret at the delays and promised that the money would be released before the end of Monday next week.

However, Bakak was interjected by Kalisa who demanded an explanation from Mwebesa and Mujuni as to why the money would be released next week yet the launch of the PDM program was scheduled for today. She also wondered why the money had been delayed.

In defence, Mujuni attributed the problem to a delay by Mwebesa to submit reports while Mwebesa blamed the delays on complexities in the Integrated financial management system. But, Kalisa rejected the defence and gave them up to Monday to pay the allowances or be arrested and prosecuted.

She also declared Mwebesa incompetent and ordered the office of the Chief Administrative Officer to replace him with another effective person. As such, the launch was also suspended until further notice.

Kabale district has 79 parish groups and about 107 million Shillings have already been deposited in each parish group.

In August 2022, Mwebesa, Mujuni together with former Chief Administrative Officer Edmund Ntimba, Christopher Namara, the District Community Development Officer and Boaz Kakuru, the District Planning Officer were arrested over alleged misappropriation of 289 million Shillings also sent out as part of the Parish Developement Model.

They were released after paying back.