Wednesday 27 September 2017

A year in office, Elected Leaders Yet to Fulfill Pledges

ToroDev under post election agenda program embarked on reaching elected leaders from the Rwenzori region to capture their pledges committed to the electorates for the 2016/2021 term of office, this was during & after campaigns in 2016.

It is now a full year and some months since they made those sounding pledges and now we take a look at how far they have fulfilled what they pledged.

Emmanuel Kajubu is a journalist and an ICT4Democracy in East Africa Media Fellow where ToroDev is a partner organization, during his fellowship work, he engaged the elected leaders in Rwenzori particularly on what they pledged during campaigns & now shares what he found on ground;

During the 2016 elections local leaders in the Rwenzori region set out impressive pledges for the electorate. They promised to improve service delivery in areas of education, health, roads, water and sanitation and among others.

It’s now a year and six months since voters went to the polls to elect their leaders right from LC3 to Members of Parliament.
However an analysis carried out reveals voters are bitter that the leaders are yet to fulfill any of the pledges they made during the campaigns. 

David Agaba is a resident of Hamura village, Kahunge Sub County in Kamwenge. Agaba like any other voter in the area says that their leaders only go back to them to look for votes. Agaba, a farmer says he is tired of voting for leaders who abandon who do not keep their promises once they are elected. 

“We voted the LC3 chairperson, but can you imagine he has never come back to us to find out if there are issues affecting us,” Agaba says. He notes that Peter Hebarera, the LC3 Chairperson promised to lobby for the construction of feeder roads in the sub county.
Agaba says that maize and rice farmers are facing difficulties to access markers for their produce due to the bad roads. 

“The feeder roads here are very bad and yet there are many farmers here. Some of our produce is getting spoilt,” Agaba says.
 Beatrice Atwine, another resident of Hamura says that the area is faced with lack for access to clean and safe water. She says that the district chairperson promised to address the challenge, but he has kept his promise. 

“Most people in the sub county do not have easy access to clean water sources and health services. The leadership of the district is aware, but they are quiet,” Kwesiga says.
Charles Aguma, an opinion leader in Kamwenge district says that they plan to form a pressure group to demand for accountability from their elected leaders. Aguma says those who are out of touch with the voters and are not working for the development of the electorate, risk not to be re-elected in the next elections.

However, Hebarera says that since being elected he has so far done much good for the sub-county. He cites the renovation of Rukunyu Health Centre II which he lobbied for and the completion of Rukunyu Primary School.
“As a leader, you can’t please everyone, but I have at least done something for my people since I was elected. There are still four years to come,” the chairperson said.

Aggrey Natumanya, the Kamwenge District Chairperson attributes this to low revenue collected by the district. He explains that because of the low revenue, it has affected service delivery in the district.
“We have a challenge of revenue. The money we receive from the Finance Ministry is inadequate to provide service to our people,”

He however says that in this financial year, the district will focus on improving local revenue collection by introducing and assets register to enable them collect local revenue adequately.

In Kabarole, the District Woman Member of Parliament, Sylvia Rwabwogo, pledged to build a strong foundation for the girl child education by establishing Kaayana Ka Tooro Education Fund.
Asked on the progress of the fund, Rwabwogo says that she is still lobbying for financial support from well-wishers to kick start the foundation. She however says that she has carried out awareness campaigns and meeting with parents on the need for educating girls. 

“The education fund is a long term venture which requires funding and I am hopeful it will start any time. During consultative meetings, I spare time to sensitize the parents to educate their children especially girls,” Rwabwogo says.
However some leaders have managed to fulfill one or two pledges they promised to voters.

In Rwimi Sub County, Bunyangabu district, schools have registered an increase in the number of pupils. This is being attributed to the promise made by Abel Ngomayondi, the Mayor Rwimi Town Council.

During the campaigns, he promised to arrest parents who do not take their children to school.
At Rwimi Primary School, this person the head teacher says that in the past, parents were engaging their children in domestic work. He now says that enrollment has increased from 600 pupils to 1,250. 

“We thank the Mayor for his efforts to improve education in Rwimi, abseentessim is no more and the parents now know the importance of education,” the headmaster says.
Ngomayondi says that since August last year, more than 30 parents have been arrested and it has been a lesson to other parents who are denying their education the right to education. 

In Ntoroko districts, schools in Rwebisengo town council are now properly managed through the formation of the School Management Committees.  The committees which are provided for in the Education Act 2008act as educational policy-making bodies for the schools and work together with head teachers to provide services that ensure quality teaching and learning. 
Hussein Ahmed, the Mayor Rwebisengo town council says that his first task in office was to help revive the committees which had become inactive. 

“The committees are important in management of schools. Without them, head teachers and parents will face challenges,” Ahmed says.  

We thank all our development partners for the financial & technical support.

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