By Benjamin Epeduno
A section of local leaders in Katakwi district are questioning the legality of six parishes created in 2017, arguing that they do not qualify to benefit from the Parish Development Model (PDM).
These parishes are; Aminit, Orimon and Okore in Okore sub county, Ngariam County while in Toroma County, Angisa in Magoro Sub County and in Ngariam Sub County; Oedepus and Osep.
The former aspirant for Ngariam County, Augustine Otuko is among the few elements uncomfortable with the parishes benefiting from PDM saying they were created by Minister Peter Ogwang and former District council of Hon. Walter Elakas to rig the general election of 2021.
“This is public information that everyone should know, go and ask RDC, LC5 and CAO” Otuko said this on phone interview on Friday 19th of January 2021.
According to President Museveni, PDM is the only government magic bullet that will chase poverty from the vulnerable Ugandans if embraced well, but information indicated that, in Katakwi, a section of leaders have started calling the parishes that are to benefit from the programme as ghosts.
In 2021 general elections, the State Minister for education and sports (SPORT) Hon. Peter Ogwang garnered 16,278 votes against his rival Augustine Otuko who came second with 1,954 votes only.
Charles Ikabat, the Okore LC3 chairperson rubbished this saying its false information that people should not take seriously because it’s cheap Politicking adding that his administrative unit has a total of over ten thousand occupants doing different economic activities.
Ikabat added that, why didn’t they talk about other sub counties that were created like; Okulonyo, Guyaguya in Usuk county and Amusia, Angodingod in Toroma county adding it’s just politics of shame.
While at Ocwin primary school in Okore sub county, Richard Opio Edeket, the Katakwi District NRM chairperson said, conflicts within leaders might affect the Party strength in the Forth-coming 2026-2031 General elections.
‘‘Where have the people who voted disappeared again? Honestly, is denying our people PDM the reward for Voting NRM? Papa president must know that, Local Politics of Katakwi is ruining his party in the forthcoming Election,’’ Edeket said.
The residents have wondered as to why they are Called ghosts yet they have always participated in other government initiatives like the recent distribution of nets, cancer screening, EMYOOGA, youth livelihood, UWEP among others, adding that they have been abandoned.
Okore sub-county is located at the extreme ends of the district in the east, bordering Karamoja and the locals shifted to the nearby communities because of insecurity as Karamojong could disturb by cattle rustling.
However, a barracks of over 30 UPDF soldiers has been put in Okore and occupants have started resettling at their places of residence and the construction is ongoing currently.
Geoffrey Omolo, the Katakwi LC5 says they have written a report to the centre to confirm these Parishes in order to fix this problem.
The report from the electoral commission indicates that Okore Sub County has a total of 8 polling stations with the alleged ghost parishes inclusive.
Peter Isabirye, Katakwi district Deputy Registrar for electoral commission says, they are aware of the existence of these parishes noting that, the sub county has 43 villages, all functioning, and expect a big turn up of people during the registration for the forth-coming general election.
Meanwhile, Minister Peter Ogwang, the area MP for Ngariam quashed the allegation saying, there are no Ghost Parishes in Okore and he is going to fight towards ensuring that the affected people benefit from the ongoing government PDM program.
Ogwang adds that he is not going to entertain anyone ready to disrupt the intentions of the government in ensuring development in the county.
“If people in that belt refused to vote for you, it should not be the reason you should start making alarm, then you’re not a leader,” Ogwang said.
He said that, they have tried to fight the establishment of government programs in his constituency like seed schools, upgrade of health centres and others but they have failed.
Currently the disbursement of 107m per parish of PDM in Katakwi is at 97-98%