Opinion: 30 billion shillings went to ghosts…

“Officials in the Ministry of Finance and 49 districts in the implementation of the Parish Development Model (PDM) face accountability queries after it emerged that they dished out about Shs30 billion to a total of 3,214 unregistered or ghost saccos” (Elizabeth Kamurungi – ‘How 3,200 ghost Saccos shared Shs30b PDM funds’ 05.04.2023, Daily Monitor).

The Parish Development Model (PDM) was bound to fail and there been so much issues already. This government scheme hasn’t lasted for long either, but still filled with questionable behaviour and misuse of funds. That’s why the latest revelation isn’t shocking either. Just another round and another time with mismanagement of public funds.

The PDM is just a new Emyooga, Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) and a micro-finance scheme to intervene to create development. Nevertheless, the same sort of tale has already been done and for years without much to show for it. Still, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) pursuit the same of drill and expect another result. Well, that isn’t how things goes… and it shows.

The PDM wasn’t launched with full potential or within reasonable doubt, because it was done in a hay-day before electioneering and empty pledges ahead of a general election. Just like other monetary schemes that has been used to propel and “buy” goodwill. These small tokens and little coins have given the NRM rural support. Even if it doesn’t amount to much, because at least they get a little incentive to the rulers in Kampala.

Alas, the PDM is just being exposed and showing the fragile nature of the institutions. When they are paying ghosts and misusing billions of shillings. None should be amazed by this in 2023. This is the game that NRM has set, and they done so for years. It is just their newest trick, and we can just see it all happening.

The reports on the PDM have been staggering already and nothing useful seem to be happening. Except for the visitation of high-ranking officials and they get to bash in glory. However, you don’t need a micro-finance scheme to get people to dance. That’s just a cheap trick and it does no good. This is a waste of state coffers.

The PDM servers no one. That is clear from the on-set and they are only prolonging the agony until they have come up with a micro-finance scheme. Because they change ahead of every election and with little to no results. That’s why the OWC and Emyooga hasn’t been studied or evaluated properly before the launch of the PDM. This is when you know the gig is up and bound to fail. Not even trying to learn from past failures before launching a new one. That’s detrimental and shows the lack of concern.

Since, the NRM can just waste funds, pay the ghosts and call it a night. Peace.

Opinion: The PM spent 39 million shillings to rent a vehicle [and that only covered the overtime!]

As the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja was a part of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) earlier in the year. There is now a leaked letter from Ambassador Adonia Ayebare, the Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Uganda. He has written a letter dated the 30th September 2022 where he requested for payment of the hiring of the rental vehicle, the driver and toll-fees.

The Prime Minister needed an SUV between the 17th September 2022 to the 21st September 2022. That cost in total $10,313.75, which is around Ush. 39,206,790 shillings or 39 million shillings. The PM cost the taxpayer around 9,75 million shillings. The SUV was only used for 14 hours and not more. If you do a small calculation, it cost the PM to rent the vehicle per hour around 2,8 million shillings.

This shows how the PM is willing to spend monies from the public coffers. It was just a rental SUV in the United States. This vehicle was rented from the NY Executive Services. What is striking is the costs of this bill and it’s only the additional expenses.

So most likely the vehicle rental was costing much more, but just in addition to original billing. The PM could afford to spend 39 million shillings on 14 hours in New York. Nabbanja should wonder how she could use funds like this. It is a wastage of funds and we don’t even know how much the Permanent Mission of Uganda to the United Nations, New York had agreed on spending on this. Because, this is just the overtime of 14 hours during these four days. This bill isn’t the whole cost of the rental vehicle and what was spent on the ordinary time. The 39 million shillings is only covering the overtime.

I would wonder how steep and how many millions it cost on the original billing. Since this is an additional invoice. The original invoice have to be big when the add-ons are 39 millions of shillings. As it said in the letter: “additional charge”.

We don’t know how much it was to begin with. The PM has a lavish spending habit and used to finer things. When she costs that much for overtime in New York. We can just peculate what else she spent money on and how costly that was. This is just overtime on a rental SUV. Not the first and original invoice.

Sigh. The PM has money to burn. That is for sure. Peace.

Opinion: The PDM seems like a failure from the on-set

Only 3,200 out of the targeted 10,594 Saccos have been cleared to receive Parish Development Model (PDM) cash after meeting requirements as outlined under the implementation guidelines, the government has said” (…) “Ms Nabbanja said all the ready Saccos are to receive the funds directly to their bank accounts. The government has so far released Shs80.92b to cater for the first quarter, while Shs1.05 trillion was earmarked as revolving funds to the PDM Saccos in this Financial Year 2022/2023. During yesterday’s meeting, the premier approved disbursement of funds to three Saccos from Otuke, Butaleja and Lira districts as model Saccos” (Peter Sserugo – ‘Over 7,000 Saccos miss PDM money’ 12.10.2022, Daily Monitor).

The latest news that only one third of the SACCO’s are able to receive partly the Parish Development Model (PDM). The Government of Uganda has made the PDM the biggest development investment and is the biggest programme after the 2021 General Elections. This follows several of other micro-financing schemes, which haven’t delivered.

Now, after Parliamentary Reports and investigations into the PDM. There has been revelations already that the SACCOs, the local governments and everyone who was about to be involved in the PDM wasn’t prepared. So, it’s not shocking that only a third of the SACCOs are able to reach on time.

This is a rushed enterprise, where the state and the high ranking officials has pushed it through without having it all coordinated from the top to the ones down in the hierarchy. That’s why when Prime Minister Nabbanja is today disbursing funds. There is a lack of totality. This because of the warnings, which previously mentioned hasn’t been regarded.

The government haven’t prepared or didn’t consider the implications of it. That’s why later the Ministries and the high ranking officials had to make procedures for due diligence and for some sort of oversight. Though with this sort of disbursement, there will most likely be mischief and be misgivings. It is bound to happen. The mere scale of it and the possibilities are endless.

While the PDM is promised to be a game-changer, it will only end up in the dust-bin of time. The writing has already been on the wall and this sort of operation isn’t making it better. Today just shows again how it’s failing. I cannot wait to read new Parliamentary Reports about these disbursed funds and how it didn’t go where it was anticipated. This is bound to end in tears and tragedy. Not because I want to see it, but for one simple reason.

The PDM wasn’t prepared or regulated properly before the government launched. When you do that and with such vast funds. It is bound to be painful. The proverb of “missing funds” is an upcoming theme. The funds will not cause a massive change or be significant to be substantial in any manner either. It might change some lives and ensure their livelihoods. However, in the grand scheme of things… it will not revolutionize the economy or the financial markets. That needs another breed and more robust financial mechanism, which does various of things and not move money from one account to another.

There will be more about the PDM in the future. Just like there been revealed the fallouts and the failures of Emyooga, Operation Wealth Creation and all the similar micro-financing schemes from the government. It is just a creature that is bound to die. We just don’t know when to have the funeral or when the sing the psalms of David. Peace.

Opinion: Nabbanja is carrying on the tradition

“Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja has reportedly filled her office with relatives” (Daily Monitor, 20.09.2021).

That the Prime Minister has appointed or recruited her own family to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) isn’t shocking. She is just following party protocol and what the Movement stands for at this given time. You don’t need credentials or qualifications to be part of the civil service or high ranking official. What you need is a connect and a person who knows someone within the parameter of the one running the office.

That is why the revelations of the Daily Monitor in the end of last week wasn’t shocking, but a continuation of it. This is the same Movement where the First Lady is a Minister and the son is a Commander of the Land Forces. Where son-in-law and other family ties has ensured high ranking official appointments and permanent secretaries as well. If not, they have gotten plum jobs in other government entities. Just because they are blood and relatives of the President and his extended family.

That’s why I am not surprised or shocked by what has happened with the PM. She is just following the teachings and the actions of her President. Nabbanja is a fellow of nepotism. Yes, this is worrisome, but she just follows a pattern, which is from the high above. It is not like she hasn’t seen or heard anything about this before. No, no this is systemic thing and that out of the world.

The Movement does this and that ‘s why Gen. Salim Selah is a unofficial minister and with government contracts. Not because his appointed, but his related to the President. Sam Kuteesa have gotten his fair tenders and deals over the years. The same has others who is associated and married into the family. That’s why the PM is just following their example.

We shouldn’t cry havoc here… as this is part of their program and how they run government. Nepotism and corruption are going hand-in-hand. It is giving them life and hope, while other fights for breadcrumbs in desperation.

The PM should lead by example, but she is just one of Museveni’s fishermen and that is evident. She is instead following him and doing his bidding. That’s why she will not challenge him or be an actor of good governance. Instead she will be as corrupt and malignant as possible. Because, she knows that this is her moment to eat and she should enjoy the spoils. While she is at it, she can also assist fellow family members and ensure they get a cut too.

That’s why this is happening, and it is tragic. It is a waste of government resources, but also expected at this point. It is not like the Movement have been sincere about these things. They have it in their slogans and programs, but never act upon it. That’s why this happens, and life moves on. Peace.

Derrick Nyeko MP letter to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja – ‘Request for Relief for the Vulnerable People in Makindye East’ (19.06.2021)

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