On 12th January 2014, local citizens appeared on Better FM to discuss how forum groups have helped in mobilizing the community to demand for better services from the local leaders. This was during ToroDev’s supported live radio accountability program on Better FM called the ‘Listeners Forum’ that discusses issues of accountability every Sunday (8:00 – 10:00pm).
“We used to come on radio and talk about the poor roads in our Sub County but there was no any response from local leaders. As a forum, we then mobilized the community for a peaceful demonstration and leaders immediately intervened and as I talk, some of the roads have been worked on such as Kyakagusa road, Kisanga- Headquarter road and Kagogo-Kaguma road”, said Rwaheru Gilbert, the Chairperson of Kicwamba Forum for Development and Service Delivery in Kicwamba Sub County, Kabarole District.
|Members of Kicwamba Forum for Rights and Development|
The live radio discussion was also attended by Mr. Ndabitunga Charles, the Chairperson of Kiguma Forum for Rights and Development in Kiguma Parish, Bukuuku Sub County, Kabarole District who highlighted the forum’s plans for the year 2014. “We are going to focus on sensitizing the community about the forum and its activities by holding community meetings in the different parishes, bridge the gap between leaders and the local people, sensitize the local people about their laws, their rights and roles, sensitize the community about proper election of leaders and also skills of development”
Meanwhile, the two panelists also highlighted the common challenges that they face when carrying out their activities of monitoring service delivery in their sub counties. “Local people still fear to come on radio and raise their issues, forum members face threats from local leaders, lack of enough funds to carry out advocacy activities, people mistake forum groups of being political groups”.
Local listeners were also able to participate in the live radio discussion through the program’s face book page called the ‘Listeners Forum’ and call ins. “Local citizens of Butinda village joined hands and cleared the bushes and pot holes without the interference of their local leaders. I urge fellow Ugandans to act like them”, said Gerald from Mugusu Sub County, Kabarole District, “Most of our leaders in Kyenjojo are dormant and that’s why our services are so poor”, said Nyanja Etagira from Kyenjojo District, “Our leaders are not giving us accountability”, said John from Kiguma Parish, Bukuuku Sub County, “Our local leaders make plans but changes are made during implementation without informing the local citizens”, said the Chairman of Kibuku Town Council, Ntoroko District.
The live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred.