RUKUNGIRI– Local leaders from areas of Nyakagyeme, Rwerere and Buhunga sub counties all in Rukungiri district have shown concern and seemingly to have lost trust and hopes in new Government’s Parish Development Model program citing undermining and disrespect in the mode induction meetings were being handled at the sub counties in their areas.
The leaders’ concerns are all pinpointing the Security Minister who’s also the Rujumbura County legislator Hon. Maj. Gen. Jim Muhwezi following tour in his constituency where he was sensitizing and mobilizing leaders on embracing Parish Development Model.
According to the government, the Parish Development Model will see development activities planned for and executed in parishes as the lowest level unit for extending services to the population.
To this, members of the public, especially those in agriculture will be required to form Saccos through which the government will inject money to fund their projects.
However, while speaking to local leaders including village chairpersons, area councilors, Sub County chairpersons, Parish and sub county chiefs among other leaders at their sub county headquarters, Muhwezi tipped them on how they can mobilize their people to lead and embrace the new government program of PDM.
At the end of each meeting, Minister Muhwezi would prepare lunch for all the attendants so that they wouldn’t get back home hungry.
Most of these leaders would move long distances from their areas of jurisdiction to sub county headquarters in addition to injecting money for transport to participate in the function.
Now leaders who preferred anonymity especially village Chairpersons are now cursing the program stressing that it’s unfortunate that they were not catered for their transport costs given the current economic hardships in the country.
The disgruntled Chairpersons who earn Ugx 120,000 annually told our reporter that it’s unfortunate that they are spending their little earned coins on the program that would be in line to help them.
“Where shall we get the morale to motivate the community when ourselves are not? Government should have catered for our transport fares because this was an official duty. We’re waiting for you in 2026” some chairmen told the press.
They wonder how the government can fail local council leaders like village chairpersons for such a meeting that would help it in disseminating information about parish development model but instead left them to walk miles back home.
Disgruntled leaders added that Minister Muhwezi is only seeking accountability to his boss, the President rather than what would have been really done on the ground, describing him as someone who wants the poor to remain poor.
“Imagine it’s Ugx 12000 from my village to and from my sub county headquarters. I went hoping that my government would refund my transport but ended up walking back home on fit since I only had the money to take me to the meeting.
Minister Muhwezi in response told the aggrieved local leaders that they were voted into these offices and should work to fulfill the requirements of the voters whether facilitated or not.
It’s to be remembered that in February, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched the Parish Development Model (PDM) at Kibuku Primary School, Kibuku District in Bukedi Sub-region aimed at helping people from Parish level to join the money economy.
In the 2021-2026 Manifesto, the President said, NRM promised to use the (PDM) as a strategy to reach homesteads that are still in subsistence economy to support them join the money economy.