The most common words often quite identical with President Yoweri Museveni are ‘POVERTY ERADICATION AND WEALTH CREATION.
This is of course the campaign has prominently consistent in the various manifestos of the ruling National Resistance Movement party since 1986 when it took overpower.
You may recall the Entandikwa (1995), poverty eradication action plan (1996), Prosperity for All (2007), Wealth Creation and the most recent Parish Development Model.
All these were the government initiatives to kick poverty out of Uganda and empower local residents to join the money economy circle.
On 26th, February, President Museveni launched yet another government strategic kick against poverty, Parish Development Model-PDM.
The program aims at alleviating poverty among 39 per cent of Uganda’s households to join the money economy.
Since the creation of Uganda’s Poverty Eradication Action Plan in 1996, the government has come up with a series of programmes geared towards uplifting the social-economic standards of all Ugandans with an aspiration of acquiring middle-income status.
In the past, several opposition politicians from the NUP, FDC, and DP among others had been prominently attacking the government against what they termed as laxity to fight poverty.
According to political analysts, the introduction of the latest anti-poverty scheme may fasten government war against poverty since it had become the opposition’s soft landing to attack the government.
Under the Parish Development Model, each parish is supposed to get Shs17m in the current financial year, and Shs100m with effect from the next financial year.
The programme will also operationalise parish Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (Saccos) through which people will be able to obtain financing for selected profitable enterprises.
While presiding over the PDM launch at Kibuku Primary School in Butebo district, President remained optimistic that the programme will directly boost the war against poverty to zero per cent.
“We don’t want spectators. We are not here to conserve poverty. We want everybody to be in the field of working so that we eliminate poverty to zero per cent,” the President said.
President Museveni also cautioned Ugandans against wasting time on non-productive enterprises and instead concentrate on fighting poverty and making wealth.
“This could be one of the medicines which could help transform the lives of the people by being focused on enterprise selection because I don’t want people to waste time on non-productive enterprises,” the President said.
He also warned the beneficiaries of the programme against misusing the funds.“The money is a revolving fund. It belongs to Sacco. It’s a grant from the government. We don’t pay back to government but to your Sacco, so that others can borrow,” he said.
Parish Development Model-PDM once implemented strategically could boost wealth among people and certainly defuse spirited opposition lies against government initiatives.
“In this PDM, we have eliminated government workers. In previous programmes, its civil servants were in charge but they were a problem. They are corrupt,” he said.
Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja warned beneficiaries against misusing the funds.“Those who think they will steal the funds; they should just forget. We want this programme to succeed,” she said, adding that the beneficiaries should invest in productive ventures such as high-value crops such as onions, cabbage, maize and cotton.
For many years, opposition politicians took advantage of the biting poverty rate among Ugandans to spread misleading messages and hate speech against the government.
But with the introduction of PDM, which shall surely involve everyone, with the intent to benefit and empower local persons at the grassroots level, the opposition’s message risks being trashed.