Election season is a time to be aware of the issues affecting your community and world; it is the time when we tend to be more focused on what kind of change we want to see for ourselves & others. It is when we take a long hard look at those who want us to trust them with the direction of our people and policies.
In line of the above, ToroDev in partnership with the governance cluster of Rwenzori region on 12th February 2016 organized a political debate for candidates aspiring for the Fort Portal municipality member of parliament seat and the women member of parliament for Kabarole district seat at Kagote SDA hall in Fort Portal which was attended by over five hundred people (500). Five (5) candidates out of the seven (7) invited candidates attended the debate.
|Citizens listening & ready to ask aspirants questions|
The debate aimed at offering a balanced platform to all candidates to share their manifestos for the electorates to have a balance view & choice, promoting a culture of open debate & tolerance among candidates and also availing the citizens the opportunity to listen to their candidates so that they can have an informed opinion when it come to casting their votes, said Mr. Kugonza David, ToroDev’s Documentation & Communications officer while giving an overview of the debate.
‘’Youth unemployment, orphans & vulnerable children are big challenges we are facing as a country & I want to advocate for the increase on youth livelihood fund from 300 million to at least 250 billions so that youth unemployment & women economic empowerment can be solved. As leaders we need to advocate for unity & accountability in order to fulfill our rights & obligations as citizens’’, said Ms Rwabwogo Slyvia the Kabarole district Woman Member of Parliament aspirant.
‘’our people are spending a lot on health because of lack of drugs in public health units due to corruption tendencies in the country. I want to lobby for an increment on the health sector budget so that we can get drugs in these public health units hence making our people healthy and productive. Also lobby for increased allocation of agriculture sector from 3.2% to at least 15%, lobby for tax exemptions on agriculture in puts coming in the country & lobby for the staffing of Buhinga regional referral hospital which has 18 doctors instead of 41 recommended doctors’’, said Dr. Richard Mugahi, the aspirant for the Fort Portal municipality Member of Parliament seat.
|Participants listening attentively (above) & (below) Standing is Mr. Rwamuhumbu one of the aspirants sharing his manifesto with citizens|
‘’As an incumbent member of parliament, I pledge to continue providing important services of electricity supply, water, roads, marketing farmers produce, vanishing the youth centre in Kabarole so that the youth can live organized by doing something& lobby for the establishment of agro-processing industries to add value to our produce’’, said Hon. Alex Ruhunda, Member of parliament representing Fort Portal Municipality.
Candidates were asked questions on issues of regional & national importance including; legislation, representation, appropriation, budgeting, lobbying, governance and economic challenges.
Prof. Edward Rugumanyo the chairperson of Tooro elder’s forum while giving closing remarks during the debate urged citizens to think much & make their choice of leaders who will improve service delivery.
We are grateful to our partners & donors for the support as we strive to improve accountability & service delivery in our communities & country as a whole.