Uganda: Districts Struggle to Recruit Parish Chiefs

27 September 2021

Ministry of Finance has vowed not to release funds meant to facilitate the implementation of government's Parish Development Model (PDM) initiative to any district without 100 percent recruitment of parish chiefs.

Government recently directed districts to recruit more than 5,000 parish chiefs who will be in charge of the multibillion programme.

The PDM initiative, where government has injected Shs200b this financial year, with each parish getting Shs19.1m, will see development activities planned for and executed in parishes, as the lowest level unit for planning and development, as government moves to advance the benefits of decentralisation.

Mr Ramathan Ggoobi, the permanent secretary of Ministry of Finance, said despite government providing the necessary resources to all districts to recruit parish chiefs, 80 percent of them have not complied.

"Accounting officers, who fail to recruit parish chiefs by September 30 without satisfying explanations, will definitely have to leave the job for others who can serve this country better," he said during Local Government Regional Budget Consultative engagement for Financial Year 2022/2023 in Masaka City on Friday.

"Young people are out there looking for jobs with all required qualifications but CAO and town clerks have continued to frustrate efforts and programmes by delaying recruitment not only for parish chiefs but many posts are not filled," Mr Ggoobi said.

Mr Emmanuel Peter Egwayu, the Bukomansimbi CAO, said the district has already shortlisted parish chiefs.

"We shall conduct interviews to fill all parish chief positions in the coming two weeks," he said

In Lyantonde District, Mr Malik Mahaba, the CAO, said the recruitment of parish chiefs was still ongoing and they would soon invite successful candidates for interviews.

Apart from Lwengo and Mubende, other districts had not completed the recruitment exercise.

Mr Ggoobi, who represented Finance Minister Matia Kasaija at the meeting, warned CAOs against recruiting parish chiefs without Advanced Level certificate and Diploma in Public Administration, Business Administration, Social Work and Social Administration.

"It is mandatory for a parish chief to have an Advanced Level certificate and a Diploma," Mr Ggoobi said.

The Lwengo District chairperson, Mr Ibrahim Kittata, asked government to take action against some civil servants who are bent on frustrating government programmes.

Mr Ggoobi said the priorities of next financial year (2022/2023) will include Covid-19 vaccination, supporting communities to abandon subsistence and adopt commercial agriculture, industrialisation, and environmental conservation.

"For the new local government units that are not yet operational they will wait for two more financial years because currently we don't have the money to spend on administration given the financial constraints caused by Covid-19 pandemic," he said

About PDM

Parish Development Model (PDM) initiative, where government plans to give at least Shs100m to each of the 10,694 parishes, starting next year as revolving fund, aims to spring nearly 39 percent of households from subsistence economy to commercial production.

It encompasses seven pillars including production, infrastructure and economic services, financial inclusion and social services.

The others are community data (Community Information System), governance and administration, and mindset change.

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