Thursday 10 January 2013

ToroDev supported accountability radio talkshow suspended by Uganda government.

‘Orukurato’ live radio talkshow on accountability and service delivery monitoring which has been supported by Toro Development Network (ToroDev) in partnership with HITS FM, Fort Portal has been suspended by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) over allegations of inciting violence against some government officials. The ‘Orukurato’ is a Runyakitara language word meaning ‘debate’. The live radio talkshow has been suspended together with another sister live radio talkshow called ‘Ekitangazo’ also on HITS FM which also broadcasts issues of accountability and governance.

Participants on the 'Orukurato'
The suspension of the live radio talkshow follows President Museveni’s Directive in December 2012 to close radio stations which hosts undisciplined civilians UCC which suspended the talkshows in January, 2013 is a Uganda government body mandated with regulating the broadcast sector

The radio talkshow which has been broadcasting every Saturday (08:00 – 10:00pm) has been attracting both local central government leaders, leaders of civil society organizations, opinion leaders and local citizens hence creating an environment for local population groups especially the marginalized rural population groups of women and youth to engage their leaders and hence participate in governance.  

In addition to the radio talkshows, ToroDev has also been empowering marginalized rural communities to participate in governance using both traditional and modern ICT tools.

ToroDev primary project participants of rural youth and women called the rural monitors who were identified and trained in online advocacy using online social media tools like Ushahidi, twitter, emailing, facebook and skills in converging information onto FM radio stations were the cornerstone in the sustainability of the ‘Orukurato’ live radio talkshow since they have been highly involved in the live discussions and participation through SMS, call-ins and research on the priority service delivery needs in their local communities.

In addition to the ‘Orukurato’ ToroDev is also supporting the ‘Listeners Forum’ accountability radio talkshow on Better FM. The live radio talkshow which also broadcasts issues of governance attracts both local and central government leaders, leaders of civil society organizations and opinion leaders among others. The live radio talkshow is broadcasted every Sunday (08:00 – 10:00pm). We hope that the ‘Listenership Forum’ will not be affected by the President Museveni directive.

ToroDev is currently engaging local leaders to understand the importance of accountability and local citizen’s participation in governance using FM radio stations and other traditional and modern ICT tools to improve grassroot communities’ livelihoods.