By Grace Turyatunga.
The President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched the long awaited Parish Development Model on Saturday 26th February 2022 at Kibuku Primary school in Kibuku district Bukedea Region. The President was received by Vice President H.E Maj. Jesca Alupo, Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja, Ministers and service Chiefs among others. He started the day with an inspection of the exhibition some of the agricultural projects which included cattle, poultry and goats.
During his speech, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni emphasized the need to transform from working for food to earning income. He therefore directed officials from the Ministry of Agriculture to give clear guidelines to the people especially those with huge pieces of land to engage in extensive agriculture while those with one or two acres can grow items such as coffee, fruits as well as engage in fish farming and poultry farming.
President Museveni emphasized that the Parish Development Model is a revolving fund and warned against misusing it “this is now getting out of poverty through agriculture, but agriculture is not the only way of getting out of poverty, there is also Emyoga” he said. He continued to emphasize that this programme will be at the parish level therefore the Parish Chiefs are going to be the coordinators of all the government efforts at each of the 10,594 parishes and will report to the sub county chiefs. He added that each parish will have a cooperative society through which government support will be channeled “I urge leaders at all levels to support the implementation of this intervention. What we are launching here is a strategy which has got two packages of medicine for example to our people with both big and small pieces of land,” he said.
He also discouraged land fragmentation and advised families to stop the habit of dividing land once the family head passes away “it is very dangerous therefore all political leaders, Religious leaders and cultural leaders must explain the danger of this to the people” he said. He also stated that if the head of the family passes away, the children need to share but sharing doesn’t have to be destructive.
President Museveni also said that NRM has identified four sectors for wealth and job creation which the Parish Development Model will advance. These sectors include industry, Agriculture, commercial, services and information and Communication Technology. “The implementation of these sectors is going to enable us to achieve middle income status at a much faster pace, despite the covid-19 pandemic that slowed down the economic growth,” he said
Prime Minister Hon. Nabanjja in her speech welcomed the President to Kibuku district and stated that her and her team have been traversing he whole Bukedea Region Pre-sensitizing the population on the Parish Development Model in the last few weeks. “Thank you for the wise counsel to the team that has enabled us to sensitize the communities. We are lucky to have you, your Excellency and I appeal to all Ugandans to continue supporting you,” she said.
She asked the Parish Chiefs to monitor this programme effectively. “All leaders at all levels starting from colleague members, Honorable Ministers of Parliament, the Local Government leaders to get ready to fold our sleeves to get dirty and help our people to utilize this opportunity to get out of poverty” she said. She also encouraged the beneficiaries, the local people, Ugandans to use the funds for the intended purpose and emphasized that the government will not tolerate the misuse of these funds.
The Vice President Hon Jesca Alupo in her speech said the Parish Development Model was a historical ceremony and a milestone in the efforts of the government for socio-economic transformation of Uganda. “This historical ceremony is yet another very important milestone. It reminds us that all of us Ugandans should join you Your Excellency to know that we have a right and responsibility to develop our country and all leaders have a duty to remind their people of this,” she said.
The Minister for Local Government Hon. Rafael Magyezi thanked His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for presiding over the official Launch of the Parish Development Model a game changer programme. He stated that it is a national development programme 111 implementation mechanism by both the state and non-state actors to achieve inclusive development in a coordinated and participatory manner. He revealed that they will start with giving out 17 million Uganda shillings to parishes effective this financial year ending in June and 10 million Uganda shillings for the next financial year beginning in July per parish.
Parish Development Model is part of the programmes in the NRM Manifesto to be implemented in their 2021, 2022 and aims at helping people from the parish level to increase their household incomes and join the money economy.