Gov't defends PDM e-payment app Wendi

Gov't defends PDM e-payment app Wendi
The Wendi app

Wendi app was created to mitigate the challenge of people being very far away from banks.

KAMPALA | The Secretary to the Treasury has defended Wendi, the digital application tool used in e-payment of Parish Development Model (PDM) funds following repeated cries that the system was wrought with failures.

Ramathan Ggoobi says many of those castigating Wendi are naysayers who do not wish PDM success.

“Less than 10 percent of Ugandans have access to banks and those that have access to banks are not the beneficiaries of PDM,” Goobi said.

Wendi app was created to mitigate the challenge of people being very far away from banks.

However, over the last few weeks, the fund remitting and savings app has come under intense criticism with many saying it was susceptible to fraud attacks.

Last week, Nile Post reported that a man in Sironko had hacked into the digital wallet of beneficiaries and diverted Shs5 million.

Previously when cabinet was approving PDM disbursements, it had asked that money be sent to beneficiaries through state-run financial institutions such as Post Bank, Pride Microfinance and Housing Finance Bank.

The Ministry of Finance made a case to have that decision reconsidered because the accessibility of the government banks across all parishes was not real.

They thus asked other banks be given a chance to participate using technology to reach all the parishes which was approved by Cabinet.

In July 2023, Cabinet then approved the Wendi application after it had been piloted and having gone through approval processes by bank of Uganda, an app that can be used on any phone.

“The entire SACCO leadership receives a notification upon receipt of the money or any of the beneficiaries," Ggoobi said.

"This is the kind of transparency we need across all spheres."

Shs1 trillion was fully dispersed in the last financial year 2022/23, and of that trillion, Shs200.5 billion was disbursed through the Wendi application as a pilot.

The government is now set to disburse another Shs1 trillion with the first half to be released in March and another Shs500 million before end of the financial year in June.

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