Thursday, 5 June 2014

“Our main aim is to lobby for the presidential pledge”, John Kusemererwa

On 24th May 2014, local citizens of Rwengaju Parish in Busoro Sub County, Kabarole District appeared on HITS FM to discuss the status of service delivery in their Sub County. “Our main aim is to lobby for support of the presidential pledge. Rwengaju Sub County was recognized by the President as a modal village because of its good performance in agriculture, but as I talk, there has been poor information flow from the leaders to the local citizens which has affected service delivery and caused a back slide in agriculture”, said John Kusemererwa, the Chairperson of Rwengaju Model Parish Elders and Youths Development Forum. The local citizen was discussing on ToroDev’s Orukurato Program, a 2hr weekly radio program that discusses issues of accountability every Sunday (8:00 – 10:00)pm.

His Excellency Y. K. Museveni, President of  Uganda
The live radio discussion was also attended by Mr. Bob Kamba, the general secretary of the forum, Mr. Okyaki Emmanuel and Mr. Mwesige Julius, all members of Rwengaju Model Parish Elders and Youths Development Forum.

During the program, Mr. Kamba indicated some of the challenges that are affecting Rwengaju Parish. “Our health center lacks some of the medicine, there is poor house hold incomes, poor water and lack of electricity, lack of information from leaders, among others. As forum members, we are working with leaders such as the area Members of Parliament, the Chairperson LC V, the Resident District Commissioner, among others, to see that these issues are addressed. We are also calling leaders to give accountability through using plat forms like radio discussions, social gatherings, among others”.

Mr. Mwesige also participated in the live radio discussion by indicating the objectives of the forum. “As a forum, we need to meet objectives such as improving livelihoods through sensitization, lobbying, monitoring and advocating for better services, demanding for accountability from local leaders and exploiting the natural resources like the climate and fertile soils to realize development through improved agriculture”.

Meanwhile, Mr. Okyaki appealed to the local leaders to work with the forum members rather than criticizing them. “Leaders should understand that our forum is not a political group. We are a group that is advocating for better services and development. We are also lobbying for the promised presidential pledge that can help to develop people”.

Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussion through call ins and using the SMS plat form to raise their issues and concerns. “People of Kasenda Sub County should also come together and form such groups so as to lobby for better services”, said a caller from Kasenda Sub County, “Leaders should stop taking forum groups for being political”, said a caller from Kidubuli Parish, “Forum groups will create a big impact in society”, said KyaligonzaEdward from Rwenkuba Parish in Hakibaale Sub County, “We thank our Chairman LC III who has lobbied for us water and electricity”, said a caller from Bwesumbu Sub County, “We have a lot of agricultural products but the poor roads have affected our markets”, said Steven from Rwimi Town Council.

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

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