Last Updated on: 16th October 2023, 02:52 pm
Gulu I Wives of soldiers of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces [UPDF] at 4th Division Infantry Barracks in Gulu City have missed out on the first disbursement of the Parish Development Model [PDM] funds. Their husbands are strongly irritated.
The numbers of the missing beneficiaries are in a thousand. They are from Kasubi parish in Bardege-Layibi division in Gulu city.
This was brought out by the 4th Division Army Commander, Brig. Gen. Michael Kabango who on Sunday, October 16, was invited as a guest at the Uganda at-61 belated Independence Day celebration.
Gen Kabango has now appealed to Gulu City authorities to include the soldiers’ wives in key government projects, saying they (their wives) have not been considered over the years.
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“We have soldiers whose wives live with us here in the barracks and they are vulnerable like the population in this region. They don’t have technical skills for survival and they are never considered in the livelihood empowerment projects,” Kabango observed.
The 4th Division Public Relations Officer, Major Telesphor Turyamumanya told tndNews in an interview that the wives of the soldiers living in the barrack are more than a thousand.
He said they have yet to benefit from any government program, urging that they should not be ignored because they are also fighting for social economic transformation.
Telesphor noted that despite the government rolling out many initiatives for socioeconomic transformation, the families of soldiers have not been targeted by such initiatives.
“We are army men, and our wives have not been targeted by government projects such as the PDM, Emyooga, NAADS, among others. We have children who are growing up and we want our families to be part of those that are transformed and empowered economically,” Telesphor emotionally added.
The Bardege-Layibi Division Member of Parliament, Martin Ojara Mapenduzi who was the chief guest at the belated Independence Day celebrations asked the City authorities to include wives of soldiers into the PDM.
Ojara, during his speech, offered a total commitment to work and support of the UPDF, further promising to meet the abandoned wives together with the City technical team.
He said the wives will be trained and given access to the PDM money in the second phase.
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According to Mpenduzi, in his consistency of Bardege-Layibi, 90 per cent of the parishes have received the money with only two parishes remaining.
Gulu City Council Mayor Alfred Okwonga admitted to the omission but stated that the women in the Barracks will be included in the second phase of the Model.
He disclosed that Gulu City has already approved money for 32 parishes, and 28 of them have received their money, while the four parishes will receive theirs in the coming days.
To beat time for the remaining parishes, he said they would recruit more town agents to speed up the process and focus on the women living in the barracks for the second phase.
“The government gave us shs 3.2 billion last year, and we shall again receive the same shs 3.2 billion amount in the coming year except to cover areas where we haven’t reached including the barracks,” Okwonga announced.