MITOOMA – Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has called for more emphasis on financial literacy as the country enters the implementation of the Parish Development Model (PDM).
While addressing elected leaders at the Mitooma District Local Government headquarters on Tuesday, Tayebwa who is also the MP for Ruhinda North, reported a challenge of financial indiscipline especially lack of saving culture.
He said that poor saving culture among the people in most villages may expose the PDM funds to abuse because people spend more than what they earn.
“We always say that people are poor but I have found that our people in the villages are mostly poor in the mind but not in the pocket. If you earn Shs20 and eat Shs18, you will not die poor because you have saved Shs2. The problem of poverty is earning Shs18 and you spend Shs20. And that is how most of us are in the village” Tayebwa said.
He told the meeting attended by elected leaders from the village level to Members of Parliament that the reason PDM was brought by President Yoweri Museveni was to transform the 39 percent of households that work only for the stomach with nothing to offer for the market to earn an income.
Through PDM, the government will send Shs100m to the Parish Sacco where the member groups will decide where to spend on at least 18 enterprises under agro processing with a view of adding value to their produce hence fetching good prices. For this financial year, each Parish is to receive Shs17m and then from July onwards, the package will be Shs100m.
“It is we the NRM caucus (in 10th Parliament) who met the President and decided that the money per parish becomes Shs100m. Those who work only for the stomach are 16m people and it shows that if they don’t work they will not eat. But when you go to the villages, you find people who have not eaten and can’t fail to booze” he added
Tayebwa asked the leaders to ensure that people are sensitized so that during the implementation of the PDM they are able to work harder and save in order to get out of poverty.
“So, we have a problem of eating without saving anything. Bahinda whom you see as rich, even make savings on condolence, he saves 20 percent” Tayebwa emphasized.
Having spent the last few days touring around his Constituency in Ruhinda North, the Deputy Speaker also called for retooling of the Parish Chiefs because as implementers, most of them don’t have the right information about PDM.
He said that since the Parish Chiefs will be secretaries for the Parish SACCOs, there is a need for them to have the right information in order to avoid the challenges faced by previous government programmes.
“I have been touring my constituency and found that your Parish Chiefs know little about the PDM.
They tell people what is outside the manual. I have the manual and whatever I talk about, I get from that book. For someone to say that the LC 1 Chairman cannot join a group is wrong. So, you see that is the Parish Chief speaking. So, I asked myself which government does some of these people work for? Maybe there is another government they work for” he added.
Concerning the development in Mitooma District, Tayebwa said that working together with legislators from the District who include, Internal Affairs Minister Maj Gen (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, they are working hard to ensure that each Constituency gets a Health Centre IV and also elevation of Kitagata Hospital to a referral facility.