Gulu City Commercial Officer Arrested Over PDM Funds

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The State House Anti-Corruption Unit has arrested the Gulu City Council Principal Commercial Officer over allegations of misuse of the Parish Development Model (PDM) fund.

The team headed by Brig. Gen. Henry Isoke is currently traversing the Acholi sub-region to probe the alleged mismanagement of the PDM funds and its implementation.

Damali Nachuha, the Aswa Regional Police Commander, identified the suspect as Nixon Atemo and confirmed his arrest on allegations of falsifying accountability for the PDM fund in Gulu City.

The suspect is being detained at Gulu Central Police Station pending further investigation.

Alfred Okwonga, the Gulu City Mayor, said Atemo was reportedly picked up by police on Thursday afternoon, hours after being grilled by detectives from the State House Anti-Corruption Unit.

Okwonga confirmed that his arrest will aid the investigations into complaints surrounding the alleged abuse of the programme within the city.

“I got the report that the commercial officer has been arrested to help with the investigation into the allegations concerning PDM; he is the focal point person in charge of financial inclusion, pillar three of PDM, and considering the allegations, he will help in the investigation,” Okwonga said.

Brig. Isoke and his team of investigators from State House have been in Gulu City since the start of the week, following the directive from President Yoweri Museveni demanding an in-depth investigation into the alleged abuse of PDM funds.

Brig. Isoke met with district and city leaders and security personnel during his visit to Gulu City on Tuesday. He later held a meeting with PDM Saving and Credit Cooperative Organisations (SACCOs) members in Unyama Sub-county in Gulu District, who raised a number of complaints that have affected PDM implementation.

Gulu City residents during the consultative meeting held by the State House Anti-Corruption Unit team in Gulu this week.

Members complained of illegal extortion of money between 5,000 and 10,000 shillings for photocopying documents by sub-county officials, delayed disbursement of funds into their accounts, and nepotism.

The PDM programme is aimed at alleviating poverty at the parish level. The government intends to disburse up to 100 million shillings in each parish across the country, which will be used as a revolving fund by the benefiting SACCO members.

Misappropriations of the PDM fund by civil servants have been widely reported across the country, putting the success of the initiative at risk.

In February, President Museveni pledged to punish civil servants found to have misappropriated and mismanaged the PDM funds in Gulu and other parts of the country.

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