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PDM: Gulu District Investigates Officials For Alleged Extortion :: Uganda Radionetwork
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PDM: Gulu District Investigates Officials For Alleged Extortion

Ateker clarified that the said chairpersons are illegally collecting between Shillings 10,000 to 20,000 from each project beneficiary, which goes against the project guidelines.
Charman Opiyo Ateker during a recent inspection at the new Gulu District administration building-Photo By Simon Wokorach

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Gulu District local government has initiated investigations into officials suspected of extorting money from the beneficiaries of the Parish Development Model.  

The District Chairperson Christopher Opiyo Ateker revealed this in an interview with Uganda Radio Network, specifically highlighting incidents in Bungatira Sub County involving parish committee chairpersons.

Ateker clarified that the said chairpersons are illegally collecting between Shillings 10,000 to 20,000 from each project beneficiary, which goes against the project guidelines.

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The most affected parishes are Atiaba Central and Lukodi, both situated in Bungatira Sub County, where investigations into the alleged misconduct of the officials are underway. However, the release of funds to the parishes in the District has only reached 50 percent. The chairman attributed this to challenges such as poor internet connectivity and a lack of equipment for data collection and entry.

Ateker added, "We had set October 15, 2023, to release funds to the parishes, but we are extending it by one more week due to the challenges we can’t avoid, ranging from poor internet connection to few gadgets." Gulu District, which comprises 11 Sub Counties, 47 parishes, and 5,024 households, has released funds to only 1,300 households out of the Shillings 5 billion allocated for PDM implementation. 

The Gulu District Commercial Officer, Alfred Ocen, reported that an additional 1,000 households have been approved for the pending release of funds, expected later this month. Among the Sub Counties in the district, Awach Sub County is the best performer with a money transfer rate of 51 percent. It has successfully distributed funds to 130 out of its total 171 households receiving money from the project.

In contrast, Piabona Sub County has the worst performance, with a money release rate of only 2 percent. This means that only 8 groups out of 428 have received the funds, according to the Commercial Department's report. The Deputy Gulu District Resident Commissioner, James Cosmas Okidi, has encouraged beneficiaries to use the funds wisely and invest them in enterprises that have been selected and approved.

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