Minister Muhwezi orders Rukungiri district officials to refund money paid by PDM groups as registration fees

The government has officially launched the Parish Development Model program in Rukungiri district with a strong warning against charging beneficiaries money for registration and membership.

The warning was sounded by security Minister, Jim Muhwezi who represented the Vice President Jessica Alupo at the launch of PDM on Thursday at hotel Riverside in Eastern Division, Rukungiri Municipality.

The function was attended by the district and Municipal leaders as well as all the community development officers at Sub County, sub county Chairpersons, town council chairpersons, sub county chiefs and town clerks.

Muhwezi said that the government has already employed technical people at all parishes who will help the community in formation of groups and SACCOs without any charge.

Earlier the district chairperson, Geoffrey Kyomukama told the meeting that some people have failed to join groups due to lack of registration and membership fees which they’re asked to become Members.

The district community development officer, Nemitious Agaba said that all 167 groups were permitted to levy the registration and membership fees of their choice according to their needs as it is the only income to help the group in running its activities.

Minister Jim Muhwezi said it was a big mistake to ask for any money from individual Members and ordered the responsible parties to refund all those that paid the money for membership or registration.

“Government is catering for everything, let those who want money make a requisition, the government will fund any activity related to the parish development model but not an individual,” he said.

Muhwezi said that the program is targeting the poor families that do not have anything to sell and get money adding that there is no way you can ask such a person for registration money.

“We want this program to include everyone who don’t have any income so that they can get money in their pockets, when you ask for money you will scare away those without it,” he advised.

The Security Minister said that his Ministry has already made a plan to recruit all village chairpersons and their secretaries for defense to be directly responsible for security in their villages.

“We are going to empower two members at village level to deal with any security matter in their respective villages and only report to police complicated cases which they cannot handle,’ he said.

Muhwezi said that they know some bad people who don’t want to work are in the villages stealing goats, cows, and poultry and even harvesting coffee from gardens at night adding that they shall handle such thieves at local council level before thinking of Police and other courts of Muhwezi advised the leaders to avoid dividing land into useless pieces if they are to implement the program well.

“When you’re five family members, select an Enterprise that you want to have in your land and share what you get from your project without sharing land,” he advised.

Muhwezi added that 3 acres of land can graze five cows using zero grazing and you share money that you get from milk as partners.

FDCs Naboth Namanya, the Rubabo county Member of Parliament praised President Yoweri Museveni for the program aiming at eradicating poverty from Public.

“Though I am in opposition, surely this program is very good and so far does not discriminate against the opposition as poverty does not have boundaries. I want to thank the NRM government for this project,” he said.

He also praised the government of NRM for the big projects that are going on in Rubabo constituency that include tarmacking of Kebisoni- Kisiizi Muhanga road, upgrading Karuhembe HC III in Kebisoni and Kasheshe in Buyanja as well as construction of Ugx 69bn Kahengye water project and Ugx 2.09bn seed school in Kebisoni sub county.

However Namanya said that corruption has led to stalling of two big projects of gravity water and seed school as contractors were allegedly bribed officers in charge of huge money and failed to complete the project.

Naboth Namanya appealed to the government to strengthen the talks with striking teachers so that Ugandan children can go back to class.

“I put the blame on all of us for passing a salary enhancement for one group leaving another group of teachers out, if it means cutting allowances of Members of Parliament, we should do it and enhance their salaries so that they go back to class,” he said.

Medius Natukunda, the district woman Member of Parliament, said that women should benefit most in the parish development model since their funds from UWEP were incorporated in the Parish Development Model.

The Rukungiri Municipality Member of Parliament, Dr. Elisa Rutahigwa said that the long awaited Rukungiri district Referral Hospital has been approved by cabinet and will be in 2023/24 financial year.

“The Ministry of finance has already allocated Ugx 44bn for construction and equipping district Referral Hospital beginning next financial year,” he said.

Rutahigwa said all 12 PDM groups In Rukungiri Municipality have already received funds, between Ugx 9 and 12M for the last financial year.

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