Deputy Coordinator Orders Arrests in Parish Development Model (PDM) Fraud Case
In a recent development, the deputy coordinator of the Parish Development Model (PDM), Joveline Kalisa, issued orders for the arrest of four officials in Kole District. These arrests were related to allegations of negligence, fraud, and corruption in the management of the PDM program.
The district commercial officer, Emmanuel Okao, who also served as the PDM focal point person, was immediately re-arrested. It was alleged that he had collaborated with PDM Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOS) leaders to mishandle the program.
The individuals arrested during this operation included Janet Adongo, the sub-county chief of Alito, Okidi Geoffrey of Okwerodot, Kinyera Boniface, the community development officer of Alito Town Council, and Edward Okwi, the chairperson of Ogwangacuma PDM SACCOS.
Edward Okwi faced re-arrest when the investigation team discovered that he had collected the phones of executive members and handed them over to Okao for unclear reasons. He was also found to have authorized multiple payments that went against PDM guidelines.
Last month, six officials in the district had been arrested for frequently approving non-vetted beneficiaries to receive government funds aimed at transitioning 3.5 million people from subsistence to a money-based economy. Some of those arrested last month included Okao, Okwi, Richard Elok, Geoffrey Ojok, Moses Omara, and Umar Ekora. They were released on Police bond.
Kalisa, addressing the media at Aboke Town Council on October 12, 2023, after meeting with three victims of the alleged fraudulent transactions, stressed the importance of listening to the victims who had surrendered their phones to Okao. She questioned why this had occurred when there was cellular network coverage in the area.
The resident district commissioner, Josephine Omara Olili, emphasized that more arrests would follow because many parish and sub-county chiefs had neglected their duties. This neglect left the program’s beneficiaries in a state of uncertainty and hindered their access to funds. She revealed that only two public servants attended a crucial meeting to evaluate the program’s performance and address issues in Alito.
Furthermore, six parish chiefs in Alito were summoned to provide statements regarding negligence and failure to perform their duties in relation to the program. The commissioner firmly stated that those unwilling to work should step aside for others to take their place. She also noted that some parish chiefs in the district were not proficient in computer use, which had led to extortion from beneficiaries to hire experts for program-related tasks.