The Minister for Local Government, Raphael Magyezi has poured cold water on mounting pressure to legislate on the operationalization of the Parish Development Model (PDM) that Government launch last week.
The Minister said PDM, the latest of Government efforts to cause socioeconomic transformation especially for Ugandans trapped in the subsistence economy, is anchored both in laws that effect decentralization and well elaborate public policy such as the National Development Plan III.
The dismissal of demands for the country to legislate on PDM which is basically a development approach followed MPs’ criticisms of the strategy for lacking an operational law and not recognizing the role of Parliament in the program rollout.
Appearing before the Local Government and Public Service Committee of Parliament yesterday, the Minister presented guidelines of the PDM that were signed into effect by President Yoweri Museveni in February.
He told the committee that implementation of PDM is anchored on seven pillars to support the value chain of production including financial inclusion that bares the component of a revolving fund for each parish worth Sh17 million in the financial year 2021/22 and Sh100 million in the subsequent financial years for the next five years
The PDM pillars include agriculture value chain development, infrastructure and economic services, financial inclusion, social services, community mobilization and mindset change, parish based management information system as well as governance and administration.
The PDM is the last-mile strategy for service delivery by the Government of Uganda for improving the incomes and welfare of Ugandans.
It is an extension of the whole-of-Government approach to development as envisioned in National Development Plan III, with the Parish as the lowest administrative and operational hub for planning, budgeting, reporting and delivery of interventions for bringing delivery services closer to the people and hence foster local economic development.
The goal of PDM is to increase household food security and incomes and improve the quality of life of Ugandans with a specific focus on the total transformation of society both on-farm and off-farm, rural and urban settings.
The overall objective of the PDM is to increase the effectiveness of infrastructure and service delivery, including agricultural extension and social services, in order to accelerate the realization of the long-term goal of socio-economic transformation. The immediate target is to move 39% of the households out of subsistence production into the money economy in the next five years.
A section of the Committee Members was concerned that the project was rolled out without guidelines and adequate legislation. They said that this move would affect accountability, transparency and implementation of the project.
In response, Minister said that there was no need for new legislation for the parish model as they are already operating within the local Governance structures and law.
The Committee Chairperson, Godrey Onzima wondered how such a big project would be rolled out without a proper legal framework. He was concerned that this would set a very wrong precedent.
Bugweri District Woman Representative, Rachel Magoola called for more planning and benchmarking on the best strategies to implement these projects.
She was concerned that the project seemed to be following the same script like emyooga, Youth Livelihood Programmes among others which have not been very successful.
Bukimbiri County MP, Eddie Kwizera demanded that the Attorney General presents a bill to Parliament on the project. She said that since the Parish Development Model (PDM) was a long term project and there was the need to for a clear legal framework.
The Minister assured the Committee members that the Project would be implemented well to serve the interest of the ordinary citizen. He emphasized that they have a recovery mechanism in place which is the core of the programme.