Magyezi hails Wasike over PDM epicenter strategy

May 17, 2024

“This approach empowers communities to identify their own needs and develop their own solutions, which is exactly what we want to see happening in all parts of the country."

Irene Wasike Muwanguzi, the author of a book titled A Life of Braving Contradictions addressing the press at Sheraton Hotel yesterday. Photos by Isaac Nuwagaba

Isaac Nuwagaba
Journalist @New Vision

Local government minister Raphael Magyezi has hailed Irene Wasike Muwanguzi, the ministry in charge of enterprise development for constructing the Parish Development Model (PDM) concept that he said is directing Uganda towards a social-economic transformation agenda.

In one of the meetings, President Yoweri Museveni said: “Irene gave us a mindset change concept strategy that is going to transform our country. The principles of the epicentre strategy which she had actually initiated were in line with the principles of National Resistance Movement (NRM) government system development agenda”.

“I'm impressed by the work that Wasike did through the PDM Epicenter Strategy," Magyezi said, adding: “This approach empowers communities to identify their own needs and develop their own solutions, which is exactly what we want to see happening in all parts of the country."

Minister of Local Government, Raphael Magyezi speaking at the launch of Paul Muwanguzi Foundation Limited.

Minister of Local Government, Raphael Magyezi speaking at the launch of Paul Muwanguzi Foundation Limited.

I thank you for being part of the philosophical foundation of PDM now transforming our communities by empowering them to engage in the money economy, he added.

During the launch of a book: A Life of Braving Contradictions authored by Wasike at the  Sheraton Kampala on Wednesday, May 16, 2024, Magyezi expressed his admiration for the strategy, which according to him aligns with the Government's vision of promoting sustainable community development.

Under the PDM epicentre strategy, communities are encouraged to form clusters and work together to identify and address their common challenges. The approach emphasizes the importance of community participation and ownership and encourages communities to take the lead in implementing development projects.

The strategy has already yielded impressive results in Uganda, with communities working together to implement projects such as piggery, crop farming, poultry, goat rearing cattle rearing, sheep rearing, irrigation, coffee growing.

Launched by President Museveni on February 26, 2022, we have achieved 98% of fulfilment in terms of disbursement of this money in 10,594 parishes.

“We were required to give shillings100 million to each parish to subsistence household families targeting 3.5million people and shillings 1.1 trillion was allocated for that. Now we are remaining with only shillings 20 billion in our coffers which shows that we have progressed,” he said.

Magyezi said the Government will continue to support and promote the epicentre strategy and called on other parishes to adopt the approach.

“We want to see more parishes embracing this strategy and taking ownership of their own development," he said. 

"It is only through community participation and ownership that we can achieve sustainable development and improve the lives of our people," the minister added.

Magyezi revealed that Wasike represented women empowerment in Uganda and Africa with her pieces of creative arts.

“When you read this book, you understand that Wasike is part of the philosophical foundation of PDM strategy and she represents writers with unique styles,” he noted.

Call for government support 

Martin Okia, the managing director of Elimu Publishers, asked the Government to create a fund to support authors to write books to change the knowledge base of Uganda.

“We have been having a generation of professors who have been consultants in other countries but they have only contributed journals without writing down books,” he said.

It was only in the 1990's when Ugandan authors started writing books for primary school children but we used to have Macmillan Publishers, Oxford Publishers, and Longman publishers.

Okia challenged tertiary institutions, vocational institutions and secondary schools to start writing and publishing books.

Patient and resilient 

Pastor Laban Jjumba of Deliverance Church Makerere, while giving his keynote address described the author as knowledgeable, patient and resilient.

“She did her research very well to define the characters and as you read her book, you get the feeling of Ugandan history for the last 100 years which brings out great importance to students in colleges and Universities,” he said.

In her book, she draws out lessons from good parenting that everybody should emulate. As you read through the book, she gives her experience of how she moves around looking for jobs. She built her Curriculum Vitae with the first volunteer job she acquired.

She teaches us how to fight for other peoples’ lives; through prayer. Do not just give your people up to go to hell but just pray for them to come through, Jjumba disclosed.

Launch of Paul Muwanguzi Foundation

In her book, which Wasike dedicated to her fallen husband, she addresses the value of family, friends and faith towards personal development and growth. This she said pushed her to form a foundation to push forward the agenda of her husband.

Paul Muwanguzi Foundation is a charitable, value-driven organisation seeking to empower communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods through education, health and social economic participation.

Shortly after the sendoff ceremony of Dr Paul Muwanguzi who died in a car crash last year, friends collectively felt that there was a need to keep some of the ideas, principles and values that Muhanguzi stood for.

Wasike, 49, has three children with Muwanguzi all hailing from Buwaya village, Buwaya sub-county in Mayuge district.

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