Radio remain the most accessible and cost effective traditional ICT tool in Uganda to mobilize the citizenry, engage leaders for improved service delivery through virtual platforms in form of talk shows.
Radio programs/discussions have provided better ways to involve leaders for accountability and to engage local citizens to demand for better service delivery from their local leaders. “During Kadongo Kamu program, I asked the mayor of Kasese Municipality to account for 150m (one hundred and fifty million shillings) that was sent back to the treasury last year. Many people called in asking him to account for the money which he did and people appreciated this program”, said Thembo Kahunge, a mentor from Guide Radio in Kasese District.
|ToroDev's Akugizibwe Solomon(left) meets mentors at Guide FM|
Thembo Kahunge further indicated how radio programs have created a plat form for discussing accountability issues. “During our accountability programs, many political and local leaders have come on board to give accountability and local citizens have used this chance to demand for accountability and better services from the concerned local leaders”.
Meanwhile, Radio mentors have also been able to follow up issues of poor service delivery by approaching the concerned local leaders. “Some of the roads, water sources, and health centers have been worked on after approaching the concerned local leaders and also raising the issues on radio. I followed up the issue of Kahompo Bridge in Bufunjo Sub County, Kyenjojo District that used to cause floods and disrupt people’s businesses and daily lives, after a long struggle of airing out the issue on radio and approaching the concerned leaders, the bridge was worked on”, said Mukonyezi Wilfred, a mentor at Better FM in Fort Portal Municipalty, Kabarole District.
In Bundibugyo District, mentors have helped in raising the voices of the local people by using the radio to air out priority issues of the local people and asking the concerned local leaders to intervene. “We used Semuliki Sun Rise program to broadcast the issue of compensating the local people who were chased from their land during the construction of Bundibugyo – Fort Portal road. The issue was aired out to the concerned local leaders who intervened and the local citizens were compensated”, said Howard Tumwine, a mentor at Voice of Bundibugyo in Bundibugyo District.
However, radio mentors still face a challenge of limited transport facilitation to reach out to the rural communities to get people’s concerns and issues, and gadgets like recorders, cameras to record the captured information, and computers and internet to share the information online.