The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) have put the Minister of State for Kampala City and the management of Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) on the spot for delayed release of funds meant for the Parish Development Model (PDM).
PDM is a government intervention model aimed at injecting money into parishes across the country to support wealth and employment.
According to a report of the Auditor General, KCCA received Shs1.5 billion for PDM but was ill-prepared and unable to utilise the funds.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi said this called for concern because KCCA received the money without a detailed budget or work plan to spend the money. “The absorption level of the funds by KCCA was 24.3 per cent leaving behind a significantly unutilised amount,” Ssenyonyi said adding that, ‘Parliament needs to know what exactly happened and why were you not ready’.
Ssenyonyi also asked the team from KCCA to share details on exactly how the funds for PDM will be managed and distributed to their rightful beneficiaries.
Kawempe Division South Member of Parliament, Hon. Bashir Kazibwe extended his concerns with the distribution process of the funds based on utterances made by the Rubaga Deputy Resident City Commissioner, Anderson Burora that employees were working with members of the public to fraudulently distribute the money.
He wondered if KCCA had taken the necessary measures to tighten the gaps and make sure the funds go to the people that need them.
The Head of Treasury Services Directorate at KCCA, Donny Kitabire said they did not receive proper guidelines on how to spend the money and therefore, had no choice but to halt the disbursement until they were ready. “Of the money received, Shs1.1 billion was not spent because it was intended for SACCOs that had not yet been organised. The money was therefore, sent back to the Consolidated Fund,” he said.
Kitabire however, noted that the SACCOs had been fully established under the stipulated PDM guidelines and all their details submitted to the Ministry of Finance to release the funds.
The State Minister for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs, Hon. Kyofatogabye Kabuye said that the Ministry of Finance was quick to release funds before the guidelines on how the money should be distributed were issued.
He noted that KCCA was prompted to return the money under the law and wait until it has lawfully constituted SACCOs under the PDM. “We are now confident that the SACCOs have been rightfully established and that the funds will be released directly to them without having to go through KCCA,” Kabuye added.
Kabuye took note of the fact that the teams charged with handling and distributing PDM funds had to be trained and all the enterprises had to be established which all required time hence the delay.
The Executive Director of KCCA, Dorothy Kisaka also held that KCCA will be meeting with the Ministry of Finance officials and Secretariat of PDM to hash out a plan for a streamlined distribution of the funds. “KCCA, under the parish level has a fulltime employee and Parish Committee in all 99 parishes as well as a mechanism in place to ensure that the funds are well distributed,” she said.
When further pressed by Bukoto Central MP, Hon. Richard Sebamala on why KCCA failed to distribute the funds amongst the few organised groups instead of sending it back, Kisaka said that the onus would be on KCCA to explain why the money was distributed without proper guidelines. “We have a 100 page document detailing how a SACCO should be formed, creating an enterprise and all the general processes involved before giving out a single shilling,” she said.
Kisaka added that it is the reason why KCCA had to wait a year, trying to follow the process, before accepting to disburse any funds.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.