On 7th June 2014, panelists appeared on HITS FM to analyze the President’s State-of-the-Nation Address. This was during ToroDev’s supported ‘Orukurato Program’, a 2hr weekly radio program that discusses issues of accountability every Saturday (08:00 – 10:00) pm.
“State-of-the- Nation Address (SNA) is an account given by the President on behalf of government, on how it has performed in the course of the year as it makes new promises for the coming year. In the 2014 State-of-the-Nation Address, the president indicated the ten bottle necks that will be focused on in the budget. These included social transformation, transport development, modernizing agriculture, integrating the African market, democracy, ICT development through industrialization, among others”, said Mr. Kasigazi Willy Donanto, the moderator of the program who gave a brief back ground of the topic.
|President Museveni gives State-of-the- Nation Address|
Panelists who attended the live radio discussion included Mrs. Linda Irene Mugisa, a local citizen of Kabarole District and Mr. Mitsera Kasukali, the Executive Director of Community Agro Business Capacity Services.
During the program, Mr. Kasukali indicated how the president had given a clear picture of Vision 2040. “The president gave a good accountability of his first year of Vision 2040 and an estimation of how Uganda will be like by 2040; 70% of the population will be having electricity, 80% of the population will be accessing good water, 80% of the total road net work will be paved/tarmacked, life expectancy will increase from 51 years to 85 years, 95% of the population will be literate, among others”.
Mrs. Linda Irene also participated in the live radio discussion by indicating how the president did not tackle the health sector while giving the State-of-the-Nation address. “A country without a healthy population produces a weak labour. The president did not tackle the health sector when giving the State-of-the-Nation address yet there are a lot of gaps and challenges in health. Such gaps include lack of enough staffs especially at Health Center IIs, lack of enough medicine to treat common diseases like malaria, among others”.
Mrs. Linda Irene further indicated what she expects to be in the next budget. “I expect the next budget to be putting much emphasis on the education sector. More teachers should be recruited in schools with good and timely salaries. Schools that are in hard to reach areas should be provided with staff quarters, and also government should create more institutions and technical schools. All this to be done requires more money to be allocated in the education sector”.
Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussion through call ins and using the SMS plat form to raise their issues and concerns. “In the State-of-the-Nations address, the president should have talked about corruption and suing all those who were involved in funds embezzlement”, said a caller from Fort Portal Municipality, “The budget should put much emphasis on health’, said Mark from Mwenge central in Kyenjojo District, “If the government does not fight against corruption, how will it implement the budget?, asked a caller from East Division in Fort Portal Municipality.
The live radio discussion is supported by SIDA/CIPESA and SPIDER/Stockholm University on a project aimed at using appropriate ICT tools to promote democratic engagement in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda.