Nwoya Recovers UGX 100 Million Diverted PDM Funds

Nwoya District has so far recovered 101 million Shillings from technical staff accused of diverting funds for the implementation of the Parish Development Model (PDM). 

The recovery of the funds follows an ultimatum issued late last month by Joveline Kalisa, the Deputy National Coordinator for PDM. 

Six people were arrested after they were implicated in the diversion of 208 million shillings, which was part of the 417 million shillings the district received in the Financial year 2021/2022 for PDM implementation.

Christopher Omara, the Nwoya Resident District Commissioner says that the implicated officials voluntarily returned the money owing to the pressure exerted by the district.  He says the recovered money will be channeled to the Parish revolving fund accounts of the 44 Sacco groups in the district.

Omara however says that some of the officials failed to comply with the ultimatum and notes that they have been given until Friday this week to refund the money or face arrest for violating the grace period.

Omara notes that the recovery signals good progress for the implementation of PDM in the district which is already on the right track. 

He says last week they had a training of the various leaders of the Saccos on the operationalization of the PDM adding that once the groups hold their Annual General Meeting (AGM), they will start accessing the money.

Among the officials implicated last month in the diversion of the PDM fund include the Principle Commercial Officer, Geoffrey Odoki Ociti, who was accused of diverting 41.6 million shillings, and Mark Odong Osineri, the Senior District Accountant, accused of diverting 33.6 million shillings.

Others are Alfred Luwum, the Senior Community Development Officer, who hadn’t accounted for 2.9 million shillings, and Linas Lakony, the district planner who also did not account for 2.7 million Shillings.

Samuel Awanga, the Chief Finance Officer was also implicated in the diversion of 33.8 million shillings, and Alfred Kilama, the Acting Production Coordinator couldn’t account for 33.86 million Shillings.

One of the implicated officials who didn’t want to be named for fear of reprisals however faulted the Resident District Commissioner and PDM officials for the high-handedness exhibited in recovering the money.

He said whereas they are being accused of embezzling the money, it was actually used for district activities that were outside the PDM guidelines and notes that administrative procedures were already being taken by the accounting officers to recover it.

According to him, while the right procedures were being undertaken, the Deputy National Coordinator for the Parish Development Program during her visit to the district put them under immense pressure forcing them to sign commitments out of fear.

“People were arrested and intimidated in all ways, and this made a number of us make commitments of paying back the money using our personal finances. I have paid some money but not yet all and I am finding it very hard,” He told Uganda Radio Network in an interview.

Among the officials who signed a commitment to refund the money was Nwoya District Chief Finance Officer Samuel Awanga, who promised to pay the money by November 4.

Nwoya District received a total of 417 million shillings from the government in the last financial year 2021/22. Out of the total disbursement, 226.8 million shillings was allocated for the parish revolving fund, 44 million shillings for Administrative costs, 60.3 million shillings for staff costs, and 49.8 million shillings for the procurement of gadgets.

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