KAMPALA — The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among has said that the Ministry of Local Government must ensure that the right beneficiaries get the money and that there are effective recovery mechanisms while the Ministry of Finance must ensure timely disbursements to the right beneficiaries through the approved channels.
“It is an extension of the approach to development as envisaged under the National Development Plan III, with the parish as the lowest administrative and operational hub for delivering services closer to the people and hence fostering local economic development,” said Among.
This was during her communication to the House on Tuesday 1, March the speaker informed the members that on Saturday 26th February 2022, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda launched the Parish Development Model in Kibuku. This is a program meant to eradicate poverty through the execution of development activities at the parishes.
The Ministry of Local Government must ensure that the right beneficiaries get the money and that there are effective recovery mechanisms while the Ministry of Finance must ensure timely disbursements to the right beneficiaries through the approved channels.
While responding to her communication, several MPs raised concerns in regard to the Parish Development Model accusing government of sidelining them from the ongoing program.
This prompted the Speaker to rule that MPs are key to the successful implementation of the parish model because they are representing the people at grass root level and therefore they should be involved at all levels.
The first to respond was Bukooli County MP; Solomon Silwany informed the House that the Local Government Ministry is already in the process of procuring a system that will be used to capture data on the Parish Model yet the rolling has not happened.
“Local Government should assure us that government may end up losing this money if it’s rushed. Parliament should stand and protect the fund so that the right people get the money,” explained Silwany.
Kalungu West MP, Joseph Ssewungu also added that it’s sad that people from different areas are being ferried to work as parish officials in their areas yet as MPs they are not even aware of what is going on.
State Minister of Finance, Henry Musasizi in defense assured the Speaker that they will ensure legislators are part of the exercise. Adding that they are committed to see that the parish model succeeds and it transforms the lives of the people.
“We are working on a statement on the road map and preparedness. We are committed toi ensure that the PDM succeeds and really transforms the lives of Ugandans,” noted Musasizi.
The Leader of Opposition at Parliament, (LOP) Mathias Mpunga explained that the ministers ought to listen to the concerns of the legislators if the parish model is to succeed.
“Ministers need to humble themselves and listen to the concerns. It’s dangerous to deal with a process without a legal framework in place. Let the minister lays on table the guidelines of the Model before parliament because this is tax payers money and we can’t allow it to be executed yet we have not synchronizing it,” emphasized Mpunga. The speaker ruled that the two line ministries should come a statement containing the guidelines of the parish model.