Amolatar leaders suspend disbursement of PDM over fraud

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Amolatar leaders suspend disbursement of PDM over fraud
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AMOLATAR | Disbursement of the Parish Development Model (PDM) funds in Amolatar District has been put on hold following suspicions of a potential loss exceeding Shillings 300 million.

The suspension ensued from a specialised internal audit report that revealed how various SACCO leaders, mobile money agents, community development officers, and Sub-county chiefs purportedly colluded to embezzle the funds.

Mr Francis Rwotlonyo Okello, the Amolatar Resident District Commissioner, said the audit that was commissioned by the district authorities revealed significant financial irregularities in handling PDM funds in the district.

For instance, the audit identified an overpayment of up to Shs196 million to certain individuals, with some receiving up to Shs14 million on their mobile phones, against the guideline of Shs1 million per beneficiary.

“Initially before the audit, we sampled and interacted with different individuals whose names were appearing on the beneficiaries list. Surprisingly, some told us that despite receiving alerts on their phones, they did not receive the money," Rwotlonyo said.

"There has been a community outburst on why the messages would come in their phones, and yet they were not seeing the money."

A copy of the audit report obtained by this publication also indicates that Shs102 million was disbursed to ineligible individuals who had never been profiled under the PDM.

These numbering 56 were received between Shs700,000 to Shs5 million, according to the report.

Rwotlonyo told Nilepost that preliminary findings suggest connivance between the SACCO leaders, mobile money agents, and community development officers to steal the funds.

Paul Mbiiwa Samuel, the Amolatar Chief Administrative Officer for, said the misallocation has deprived legitimate beneficiaries of their rightful access to the funds

“The implication is that around 300 rightful beneficiaries missed out on the money. In the security meeting, we agreed that we make recoveries of all the Shs300 million so that it goes to the rightful beneficiaries,” says Mbiiwa.

For his part, the LC5 chairperson, Geoffrey Ocen, raised concerns over the banking system being used to disburse the money.

“It started from Aputi where ineligible beneficiaries were allowed to access the PDM money, including a mad person whose name appeared on the list. The rightful beneficiaries would get the message that they have now got the money, and they should wait for the SACCO leaders to actualise the payment. They never received the money,” says Ocen.

Ocen said the suspects could have used the gaps in the payment system developed by Post Bank to steal the money.

“Wendy is a software that was developed by Post Bank. It seems these people were able to recognise, to discover some loopholes in the system that is why they were able to use the system to disburse money worth Shs14 million against the guidelines,” said the district chairperson.

PDM is a government initiative to drive parish-level socio-economic transformation by channelling resources directly to the grassroots. The beneficiaries are required to form groups that are registered with SACCOs before accessing the funds

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