Cultural beliefs and the management of government development projects in Central Uganda: A case study of Poverty Eradication Action Plan in Nakawa Division
The study specifically aimed at achieving three specific objectives. To assess the influence of cultural beliefs on the management of PEAP in Nakawa Division, to establish the influence of extended families on the management of PEAP in Nakawa Division, and to establish the role of tribalism in the management of the PEAP in Nakawa Division. There are many cultural beliefs existing in Nakawa for instance the Baganda, the Acholi, Basoga and Iteso. The study found out that cultural beliefs in Nakawa division had both positive and negative effect on the management of the PEAP. From the positive point of view, cultural beliefs contribute to the poverty eradication programmes in the area through a number of ways; promoting social unification and peace in the society, instilling honesty, accountability and faithfulness among the society members, material donations to the community such as; scholar ships, land for community development projects, free mass sensitization and advise on developmental approaches and opportunities, among other things. However cultural beliefs on the other hand were discovered to have caused setbacks in management of the PEAP in the area. The numerous religious denominations in the society were discovered to had caused un necessary social divisions in the community and to the extreme, violent wrangles between members of different religious groups have caused social instabilities in the community, making it un conducive for developmental programmes. The cultural beliefs for example the Baganda believe that it is an abomination for one to work if a relative has passed away. Likewise the Acholi believe if one looses a male relative mourning has to take 2-5 days. Also there is a mentality of women not being allowed to participate in passing judgment. In this case they have little input in major decisions undertaken. Men always suppress women. There was unfair recruitment of workers in the different development projects. The selection exercise was normally based on religion. Also there existed wastage of itime and financial resources on religious activities at the expense of poverty eradication programmes, and irrational choice of business projects based on religious beliefs. The study also established that tribalism in the society had to a greater extent contributed positively towards the management of the PEAP in the area especially through bringing the community members together and promoting mutual understanding among them. Such social unification had promoted peace and harmony in the society hence providing a favourable environment for societal development. Rampant corruption in most of the poverty eradication projects in the area could to a great extent be attributed to extended families. This was due to heavy dependency burden such families imposed on their heads. They promoted nepotism as family members were favoured for jobs in the development projects even when they were not the best candidates. They also led to land fragmentation as a block of land was shared among the many members of the family. The study among other things recommended; mass sensitization about the best approaches to fighting poverty, incorporation of culture in the development process to ensure its effectiveness, emphasizing gender balance, encouraging mass participation in the poverty eradication process, more attention on disease control especially malaria and HIV Aids and emphasis on value added enterprises as well as the service sector.