By Gabriel Erayu.
Rounds and rounds of discussions surround the government’s development program dubbed the Parish Development Model, with critics calling it a re-brand of other programs referred to as “failed” government interventions, the most recent being EMYOOGA. The PDM program, if properly implemented, is projected to bring more than three million peasants into a money economy. So, aren’t the critics becoming prophets of doom?
The government launched the Parish Development Model (PDM) several months ago, in particular in February 2022, and its purpose is to become the economy’s transformation tool. Is the success of the Parish Development Model everyone’s responsibility? Gone should be the days when we sit at the back bench waiting to demonize the process of development or appraise its success.
Certainly, the government is focused on making the country a money economy. The ministers, dubbed “fishermen” by the president, are on their toes, and the president is in the driver’s seat, mobilizing citizens for the program. But is that enough? The president has severally rallied people from all walks of life, religions, and political affiliations to join in driving the core goal of the Parish Development Model, and I think now is the time to join hands. Most certainly, religious, cultural, and civil leaders cannot be left out if we are to see the success of the Parish Development Model. But is that all it takes?
Far from sitting back and making ugly comments, the success of the Parish Development Model lies in our mindset change as focused citizens of Uganda. The little achievement of Emyooga would be just more than it is if we had the mind to use the revolving fund to generate agri-business and other income-generating activities and improve livelihoods as was the government’s plan.
Unfortunately, at the back of the last citizen lies the notion that “this is government money” or “this is free money” and these are made worse by uninformed opportunist-cheap popularity seekers whom the president has referred to as “enemies of progress”and “enemies of development” who make lousy and uncalculated statements like “these are your taxes”with the intent of winning a vote favor. Leaving all else aside,I believe if everyone helped in causing a mindset change,then the Parish Development Model is the right boat to lead Uganda to the land of milk and honey, which is the dream of the sitting government to have a money economy.
All the efforts put into the Parish Development Model will greatly pay off for us as a nation. But must the technical teams in districts again be the center of failure of the Parish Development Model? Why can’t we work according to the National Resistance Movement (NRM) principle of patriotism and love for our country? Often times, I think the top government is demonized and made to carry a cross it doesn’t merit, and again, critics of everything sparingly and maliciously apportion and direct the blame to the people who did their best in passing down the project for implementation and do not merit the blame.
Fellow countrymen and women, now isn’t the time to demonize,now isn’t the time to criticize,now isn’t the time to sit back and watch. Let us all rally behind the government in the Parish Development Model (PDM), which will transform us into a money economy. Religious leaders,cultural leaders,technocrats,different political affiliations,let’s join the government in this wise thought of development achiever called the Parish Development Model.
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