Stolen PDM Funds: Kitgum Recovers Money for 28 Saccos

Kitgum district has recovered funds for 28 out of the 55 Saccos whose money Parish Developement Model funds had been stolen.

Kitgum district created 72 Saccos to benefit from PDM funds and received 745 million Shillings for the program last financial year. But in August, a report emerged that up to 526 million Shillings of this was misused and as a result, only 17 Saccos got their money leaving out 55 Saccos without money. 

According to Margaret Lamwaka Odwar, the Saccos were supposed to get 511 million Shillings, but a lot of it was used in training people who were not supposed to be trained.  But in the aftermath, 15 staff of the district were arrested and tasked by the PDM secretariat to repay the money.

Hajj Marijan Walire, the Deputy RDC of Kitgum District told Uganda Radio Network that the money is sent to the Saccos immediately after it is recovered. This now brings the number of Saccos that have got money sent in the last financial year to 45.

Walire said that the civil servants who misused the money signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the top officials at the PDM secretariat, and were supposed to have completed recovery by last week.

He said initially, the Saccos were each supposed to get 17 million Shillings, but each is now getting 5.25 million Shillings from the money sent in the financial year 2021/2022. 

Leaders say although the deadline set to recover the money has elapsed, the recovery process will go on until all the funds are recovered. 

Kitgum district chairperson Christopher Obol Arwai said that the district has set a recovery plan where all implicated in the scandal, will have to pay back from their own pocket, including himself who was given an allowance during training on PDM. 

The Parish Development Model is a government multi-sectoral program aimed at improving the livelihood of Ugandans, especially the 39 per cent living a substance lifestyle by upgrading them from a subsistence economy to commercial production. 

The government launched the implementation of the PDM in February this year, with the main purpose of attaining socioeconomic transformation based on improved productivity in households and enterprises at the parish level. 

However, reports indicate that by end of September civil servants from 33 districts had mismanaged close to 2.2 billion Shillings.  

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