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Conman Arrested for Extorting Money from PDM Beneficiaries in Serere :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Conman Arrested for Extorting Money from PDM Beneficiaries in Serere

Kasolo issued the directive in Kadungulu Town Council after the applicants of PDM accused Samson Emunot, the Community Development Officer (CDO) of Kadungulu sub-county, and other leaders of extortion.
Charles Opio (R) and Samson Emuton (L) at Kadungulu Sub Town Council Barraza.
The Minister of State for Microfinance, Hajji Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune on Tuesday ordered the arrest of a conman in Serere District who has been extorting from people seeking Parish Development Model (PDM) cash. 

Kasolo issued the directive in Kadungulu Town Council after the applicants of PDM accused Samson Emunot, the Community Development Officer (CDO) of Kadungulu sub-county, and other leaders of extortion. 

Emunot’s troubles started when Jessica Abiya, a resident of Owarakwap Village reported to the minister that the officer had sidelined the whole village from the PDM program.

“Hon. Minister, the people of Owarakwap are in pain. We have spent a lot of money in processing PDM money but to our dismay, the CDO and the sub-county have sidelined us,” Abiya said.

Abiya said that each of the applicants of the PDM in the village had paid more than 20,000 Shillings in different installments to the CDO and the team to allegedly facilitate the process of accessing funds.

“Each time we meet, we are told to pay money ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 Shillings each. The money is collected in the name of the CDO and other leaders in the sub-county. They always tell us that the CDO needs fuel, airtime, and photocopying documents to enable us to benefit from PDM,” Abiya added.  

Abiya noted that after paying the money, none of their groups had been considered in the village. “When we complained, the CDO told us that our village would not be considered for PDM funding as long as he’s still working in Kadungulu. Why should our village be penalized?” Abiya asked.

However Emuno denied the allegations saying that he had also received similar claims from the community, but when he tried to investigate, none of the claimants provided evidence.

This prompted the minister to ask residents claiming to have been extorted by the CDO or any official to stand up and defend the claims. Six members of the community claimed extortion and told the minister that all the money was collected by a one Charles Opio Alias Imadangit.

The Minister ordered the Police to detain Opio until he refunds the money allegedly extorted from the community.

It is reported that each of the groups in Iruko parish collected between 20,000 to 40,000 Shillings every time they met with the CDO on issues of PDM. Iruko has nine villages with more than 200 households in each village.

Kasolo has pitched camp in the Teso sub-region for weeks to monitor the progress of Emyooga and PDM programs. He ordered the arrest of SACCO chairperson in Kumi district last week over alleged extortion and sexual advances to women seeking PDM cash.

He has also ordered RDCs to list down names of Emyooga defaulters who will be shamed on radio stations in Teso.