On 26th January 2014, Mr. John Kasweta, the coordinator of Committed Citizens Forum for Better Services in Hakibaale Sub County, Kabarole District discussed the NRM’s (National Resistance Movement) celebration of 29 years and whether her government had delivered better services to the local citizens. “The Uganda constitution states that a national census should be carried out every after 10 years, but since 2001, we have never had a census. This raises the question of how the government plans or budgets for Ugandans whose number is unknown. This has caused lack of enough medicine and under staffing in health centers, lack of proper budgeting and planning, among others”.
Mr. Kasweta said this during the ‘Listeners Forum’ on Better FM, a 2hour weekly radio program that discusses issues of accountability every Sunday (08:00-10:00pm) that is sponsored by ToroDev. The live radio discussion was also attended by Mr. Yahaya Abubakari, a local citizen of Karugutu Town Council in Ntoroko District and Mr. Tibeha John Bosco, the General Secretary of Bufunjo People’s Forum in Bufunjo Sub County Kyenjojo District.
|His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda|
During the program, Mr. Yahaya indicated how radio programs had helped local citizens to lobby for better services from their leaders. “Radio programs have helped us to seek our local leader’s intervention and also lobby for better services. Our roads have been worked on such as Kicwamba-Kyabandara road, Karugutu HC IV road, Late Ndahura road, among others”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Tibeha indicated the high rate of corruption in the Health Assistant’s office of Bufunjo Sub County. “Bufunjo Sub County received 152(one hundred and fifty two) bicycles from the ministry to help VHTs(Village Health Teams) run their activities. However, the Sub County health assistant made a private meeting with the coordinators in which they agreed to impose a charge of Shs.30,000 on each VHT(Village Health Team) member who was going to receive the bicycle. As a forum, we informed the concerned leaders who are helping us to follow up the issue”.
Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussions through call ins to raise their issues and concerns. “Our roads are so poor”, said Mwesige from Kibiito Town Council, “Corruption is so high in Kinyantale Police”, said Edward from Kyenjojo District, “Myeri –Busanga road was constructed badly”, said Kyamukama from Mugusu Sub County, Kabarole District, “All our services like schools, health centers, roads and water are in a poor state”, said Mpagi Saidi from Mwenge North in Kyenjojo District.
The live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred.