On 22nd June 2014, Mr. Amanyira John Kasweta, the Chairperson of Committed Citizens for Better Services in Hakibale Sub County, Kabarole District appealed to the youths to avoid being manipulated by local leaders. “Youths should avoid being used by leaders who want to gain their own mutual benefits. We have seen many aspiring leaders buying votes for the youths during campaigns. Such leaders become incompetent when they enter offices, and also lead to poor service delivery”. Mr. Kasweta was discussing on ToroDev’s supported radio discussion called ‘Listeners’ Forum’ that discusses issues of accountability every Sunday (08:00 – 10:00) pm on Better FM.
The live radio discussion was also attended by Hon Basiima Hidden, the LC V Chairperson for the youths in Kabarole District and Mr. Charles Ndabitunga, the Chairperson of Kiguma Forum for Rights and Development in Kiguma Parish, Bukuuku Sub County, Kabarole District.
During the program, Hon Basiima gave a brief back ground of the Youths Livelihood Program. “The Youths livelihood program was introduced to solve the issues of the Youths Venture Capital Fund, which had been introduced to get youths out of poverty and also realize development. During the National Youths Conference that was held in July 2013 in Jinja District, we as youths leaders proposed to get a new program since the Youths Venture Capital Fund had a lot of issues. We therefore introduced the Youths Livelihood Program that was later on passed by parliament and launched in February 2014”.
Hon Basiima went ahead to discuss how the Youths Livelihood Program will work. “The Youths Livelihood Program will only support youths who are in well organized groups. Some of these groups have already received funds on their accounts, but as leaders, we shall not allow them to access these funds until we finish training them. We are training seven members from each group in areas of procurement, management and social accountability so that they can know how to manage the funds appropriately, without misusing them”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ndabitunga appealed to the different youths groups not to rely on government funds. “Youths groups should not rely on government funds, but also try other means of support like writing proposals or approach different ministries and NGOs. Youths should also avoid looking at smart jobs because of the papers that they hold, but should try to be innovative”.
Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussion through call ins to raise their issues and concerns. “How many Youths Groups are supposed to be funded per Sub County?” asked Byamukama from Kabende Parish in Hakibaale Sub County Kabarole District, “Youths should be job creators, and not rely on white color jobs”, said Lucy from Kasenda Sub County in Kabarole District, “Our leaders in Kicwamba Sub County are not giving us accountability”, said Mama Matu, “Leaders have not come to sensitize the community”, said Moses from Hakibaale Sub County, “Market prices are poor, how do you expect us to refund back the funds?” asked Nyakoojo from Kyegegwa District.
The live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred and is supported by NED, SIDA/CIPESA on a project aimed at using radio and social media to improve service delivery and accountability in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda.