On 29th June 2014, the Chair Person of People’s Rights and Forum for Development in Mugusu Sub County, Kabarole District Mr. Mukwano Ssenyonjo indicated how local leaders are looking at rural monitors as enemies. “Leaders are taking us as enemies yet we are advocating for the local people. If we raise an issue to the leaders concerning service delivery in the community, leaders should not react negatively, but instead intervene to solve the issue”. The local citizen was discussing on Toro Dev’s supported radio discussion called ‘Listeners’ Forum’, a live radio discussion that discusses issues of accountability every Sunday (08:00 – 10:00) pm on Better FM.
|Members of People’s Rights and Forum for Development|
Mr. Mukwano also went ahead to condemn the strike that was held by students of Kaboyo Seed Secondary School in Mugusu Sub County. “Students of Kaboyo Seed Secondary School held a strike and property worth of millions were destroyed. I condemned such an act because students would have sought better ways of addressing their issues rather than using the strike. However, school administrations should also try to always use flexible means and understand their students’ issues instead of using an iron hand that ends up causing violence. Parents should also always find time to interact with their children, and offer them canceling and advice”.
The live radio discussion was also attended by Hon. Muntu Willy, the councilor of Bweramule Sub County in Ntoroko District. Hon Muntu participated in the live radio discussion by indicating the disunity among the leaders of Ntoroko District that is affecting service delivery. “Our leaders are disunited and fighting within themselves which has affected service delivery. They are also selfish and fighting to get their own mutual interests instead of fulfilling people’s interests”.
Hon Muntu also indicated how leaders are threatening rural monitors who are raising and backing community issues. “Some leaders have threatened and brutalized rural monitors who have raised community issues and followed them up. Such leaders should look at rural monitors as their intermediaries between them and the local citizens and find ways of working with them rather than fighting them. Leaders should also know that local citizens have a role of monitoring what leaders deliver on ground”.
Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussion through call ins and using the SMS plat form to raise their issues and concerns. “Violence in schools is caused by peer pressure and bad acts like taking drugs”, said Lucy from Kasese District, “What have councilors done for Bweramule Sub County”, said Edward Kisembo, “Our Members of Parliament have done nothing”, said Asiimwe from Ntoroko District, “Our Members of Parliament are too dormant in parliament”, said Bulenge from Karugutu Town Council in Ntoroko 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.