Acholi Leaders Want OPM Ejected from PRDP Implementation

1459 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
Gulu Woman MP Betty Aol Ochan says with such a magnitude of corruption, OPM is not the right office to manage PRDP resources. The plan was estimated to cost US$1.1 trillion, 30% of which is provided by the government of Uganda while the 70% comes from Development partners.

Political leaders from Acholi sub region want the Office of the Prime Minister to be ejected from the next phase of implementation of the Peace Recovery development plan-PRDP3.

They suggest however that the office, which has been surrounded by corruption allegations, assumes a monitoring role in the next project phase while coordination and implementation of the project is entrusted to leaders at sub county and parish level.

The demand is based on concerns raised on the amount of money used specifically on the procurement of cattle for the current restocking exercise. Records indicate that each calf was bought at Ugx 800,000 instead of the market price of Ugx 350,000.

Last year, the office of the Auditor General uncovered theft of over Ugx 50 billion meant for PRDP projects in Northern Uganda and Karamoja by officials in the OPM which has been the main coordination office for the implementation of PRDP activities. 

Gulu Woman MP Betty Aol Ochan says with such a magnitude of corruption, OPM is not the right office to manage PRDP resources. The plan was estimated to cost US$1.1 trillion, 30% of which is provided by the government of Uganda while the 70% comes from Development partners.

First launched in 2007, The Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) is a government strategy designed purposely to eliminate discrepancies in the development of the Northern and the Southern part of the country through empowering communities and supporting peace and reconciliation efforts after the end of the two decade long conflict in the region.

The second phase of PRDP was launched in 2012 and is ongoing until next year.

But leaders from northern Uganda are advocating for an extension arguing that the first and second phase of PRDP have not sufficiently addressed the post conflict needs of the region which is recovering from more than 20 years of conflict.

Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu district chairman observes that the next phase should consider the intensity of the conflict in the distribution of resources. He says districts in Acholi deserve a bigger portion of the project resources since they were worst hit by the LRA rebellion.

Nicolas Opiyo, a human rights lawyer recommends that implementation of PRDP activities should be primarily a role of technocrats and not politicians. Opiyo says PRDP funders like the World Bank should have direct access to the locals in order to streamline operations and block all corruption networks.

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.