Friday, 13 June 2014

Local citizens of Mugusu Sub County advocate for better service delivery

On 12th May 2014, local citizens of Mugusu Sub County in Kabarole District advocated for better service delivery from their local leaders. This was during the public accountability meeting that was organized by members of People’s Rights and Forum for Development (PRIFODE) an advocacy forum group in Mugusu Sub County that is a community’s own initiated initiative that is meant to sustainably monitor and advocate for improved service delivery, and demand for accountability from the local leaders. 

During the accountability meeting, rural monitors were able to sensitize the local citizens about the aims of the meeting. “This meeting is meant to strengthen citizens with the ideas on how to monitor and demand for better services, the duties of human rights defenders, duties of rural monitors in development, among others. At least by the end of the meeting, leaders from their respective offices and departments will be held accountable and citizens will be able to raise their views and concerns”, said Mukwano Ssenyonjo, the Chairperson of People’s Rights and Forum for Development.

Members of People’s Rights and Forum for Development
The meeting was attended by different leaders like the Sub County Internal Security Organization (GISO) Mr. Kayondo Rodger, the Sub County Chief Mr. Mwesige Michael, the Chairperson LC III Mr. Waako Christopher, the Officer in Charge (OC) Mr. Musabe Milton, the Health Assistant Mr. Masereka Patrick, among others who were able to give accountability and also respond to people’s issues and concerns. 

The Sub County Health Assistant indicated how Mugusu Sub County has a lot of challenges in the health sector and how they were laying strategies to solve them. “Staff enrollment is still a challenge as compared to the standard of staff selling, which has highly affected the maternity center due to immediate transfers. Nurses also lack accommodation around the health center which creates a problem of transport and time keeping. However, we previously had poor arrangements of delivering drugs from National Medical Stores because of wrong stock lists which had led to stock outs, but as I talk, this issue has been solved and all drugs are now available at Mugusu Health Center III”. 

The Officer in Charge also participated in the accountability meeting by sensitizing the local citizens about security issues. “Civil cases are supposed to be reported to the local council 1 Chairpersons up to the court magistrates, yet criminal cases are reported to police. The police is not supposed to be bribed by any amount of money in any particular case reported to it and any local citizen who falls victim of this should approach the responsible officers for help like the Officer in Charge, the Resident District Commissioner, among others. Local citizens should also know that they are not supposed to pay for police bond”.

Local listeners were also able to raise their issues and concerns to the local leaders. “Proper service delivery has failed due to the too much corruption among the leaders and civil servants”, said Karamagi Job, “We need an audit report for the Sub County SACCO”, said Kyamanywa Richard, “Some of the leaders don’t know their responsibilities in service delivery”, said Kasiita Fred, “Some contractors are paid before even completing the work (shadow work)”, said Kabyanga David, “Poor flow of information from the local leaders has hindered service delivery”, said Kayondo Rodger, “The rampant unemployment in the Sub County has caused a lot of crimes among the youths and many of them to resort to gambling activities, smoking marijuana and playing pool tables as early as 7:00am”, said Kusemererwa Vincent. 

The accountability meetings are supported by NED, SPIDER/Stockholm University and SIDA/CIPESA on a project aimed at using both physical and online platforms like accountability meetings, radio and social media to improve the participation of marginalized population groups of rural youth and women in governance in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda.

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