Wednesday, 2 April 2014

“Issues discussed in parliament are not relevant to people’s demands”, Ndabitunga Charles

On 29th March 2014, panelists appeared on HITS FM to discuss the issues and policies discussed by the Ugandan Parliament and whether they are relevant to the local people’s problems. “Issues discussed by the Ugandan Parliament are contradictory and not relevant to the people’s problems of service delivery. That’s why we have a poor education system that is not practical but theoretical and students study up to the university level without knowing what they are going to do because of the high rate of unemployment, corruption and poverty”, said Ndabitunga Charles. The panelist was discussing on ToroDev supported live radio accountability program called  ‘Orukurato Program’ that discusses issues of accountability every Saturday (08:00 - 10:00pm).

Jacob Oulanya, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda
Other panelists who participated in the live radio discussion included Engineer Patrick Rubongoya, John Byabazaire and Lawyer Musana, all political activists of Fort Portal Municipality, Kabarole District.

During the discussion, Engineer Rubongoya indicated Uganda’s history before achieving her independence. “Uganda had earlier on lived under the leadership of kingdoms and chiefdoms. However, from 1894-1920 Uganda was under colonial rule, and after, she became a British protectorate until 1962 when she attained her independence. As Ugandans therefore, we need to get sustainable peace through practicing proper and true justice as the overall principle in governance”. 

Mr. Byabazaire also blamed leaders for seeking their own mutual interests than presenting people’s issues and demands. “Leaders have turned parliament into a business venture because of their selfishness and corruption. This has brought people’s development to a standstill and that’s why indigenous people cannot make any investments”.

Meanwhile, Lawyer Musana blamed the poor status of Ugandans on the poor governance. “Members of Parliament are moving the country basing on the President’s wishes forgetting that they were elected by local citizens into parliament to present people’s interests. The NRM (National Resistance Movement) caucus has also become another executive because it has taken the stand for the president and not for the people which has caused separation of power. This is why we are seeing that any member of the NRM party who stands against the President’s wishes becomes a rebel member of parliament”. 

Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussion through call ins to raise their issues and concerns. “The NRM government has been exploited by the rich who have become richer and pushed the poor to become poorer”, said Deo from South Division, Fort Portal Municipality, “The ground root of Uganda’s politics is so poor and full of military”, said Kusasira from Kasenda Sub County, Kabarole District, “People need to have confidence to do greater things through proper rule of law and unity”, said Okwiri from Hakibaale Sub County, Kabarole District, “Voters have spoilt Uganda by seeking for mutual interests from the aspiring candidates”, said David from Mbarara District.

The live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Kasigazi Willy Donanto.

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