CSOs to Government: Don't Disband PRDP

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In short
More than 50 billion shillings is believed to have been embezzled from the program by officials in the office of the Prime minister.

Civil Society Organizations-CSOs have asked government not to disband the Peace Recovery and Development Programme (PRDP) because of the corruption scandal and withdrawal of donor funding. Last year, the Peace Recovery and Development Programme ran into trouble after donors withdrew their funding for the program following the embezzlement of funds in the office of the prime minister.
 
More than 50 billion shillings is believed to have been embezzled from the program by officials in the office of the Prime minister. As a result, some donors withdrew funding from the program and tasked government to recover the money, and take action against the affected officials. While disseminating findings of how the OPM scandal could affect progress of PRDP on Tuesday, a forum of Civil Society Organization (CSO’s) said instead of withdrawing funding to the program, donors should instead channel it through other non state agencies.

Capson Sausi, the Programmes Manager at Safe World said the CSO’s wants Government to fulfill its mandate to the people of Northern Uganda. He argues that the process of implementing PRDP projects should be open and transparent to help support the livelihoods of the people at the grassroots.

//Cue in: The people…’’
Cue Out:…central government’’.//

However, retired Anglican clergy from Kitgum Diocese, Bishop Macleod Baker says many locals are not aware of the existence of these programs. He says that implementers of the project attend long meetings in board rooms and hotels leaving out the would be beneficiaries of the project.

//Cue in: They have been…’’
Cue Out: …people of Buganda’’.//

In his presentation, Daniel Okello, an official from Lira NGO Forum stressed the need for engaging the district leadership in more practical methods of imparting information on PRDP, to avoid unscrupulous individuals from claiming responsibilities for some of the projects.

//Cue in: The people...’’
Cue Out:..what communities want’’.//

Launched in 2007, PRDP is aimed at supporting socio-economic growth of people in Northern Uganda, in a bid to uplift a population that has been marginalized following decades of war.

The first phase of the project received 1.2 trillion shillings after the first injection which amounted to 1.1 trillion shillings. The main objectives of PRDP are to strengthen state authority, reconstruction and giving communities a source of livelihood. Once the communities become economically empowered, it is hoped that they will forge away towards reconciliation and peacebuilding.