Tuesday 30 July 2013

Hakibaale Chairperson to extend electricity to Kabende Trading Centre

The Chairperson Hakibaale Sub County, Kabarole District Mr. Edison Businge has indicated that he is going to work with the Burahya Member of Parliament Hon. Stephen Kagwera to lobby the government through the rural electrification programme to extend electricity to Kabende Trading Centre.  

While discussing on the ‘Listeners Forum’ radio program on Better FM on 28th July, 2013, Businge said extending electricity to Kabende Trading centre will reduce poverty through creation of employment and value addition through the setting up of agro-processing industries since the trading centre hinterland is purely an agricultural economy with maize farming being the biggest activity.

L-R: Kasweta, NAADS Coordinator and Chairperson
This follows a request by Kasweta John to the Sub County chairperson to extend electricity to Kijenga and Kabende Sub Counties to improve the livelihoods of the local citizens through value addition to their agricultural products. Mr. Kasweta is the Chairperson of Hakibaale Citizens Forum for Better Service Delivery, a rural advocacy forum whose initiation was supported by Toro Development Network (ToroDev).

While discussing a topic, “State of Service delivery in Kabarole District; A case of Hakibaale Sub County” Mr. Businge also gave accountability to the electorates on his achievements in the two years he has spent in office.

“I lobbied Angels Haven Organisation to take its development programmes to Hakibaale Sub County. They have now helped the local people improve their incomes through giving them goats and training them in entrepreneurship.” Said Mr. Businge.

Mr. Businge adds, “I have constructed a laboratory at Kijura Health Centre III, constructed health centres in Kituule and Kahangi Sub Counties. I have also constructed Mirongo road, worked on a playground for Rusekere SS and Muhumbu road has already been budgeted for.”

Kasweta also requested the Sub County Chairperson to set up a health centre in Kiburara to improve access to health services to the surrounding communities. Kasweta also requested the Sub County Chairperson to improve performance in schools by ensuring the provision of appropriate infrastructures in schools like desks and classrooms.

“We need a secondary school to consume the big numbers of students who complete primary schools. The schools also need more teachers to ensure quality education.” Said Kasweta. Hakibaale Sub County has only one secondary school called Rusekere SS which can’t consume the number of students who complete primary school from the 16 primary schools in the sub county.

The Sub County NAADS coordinator, Tusiime James also gave accountability on the performance of the NAADS sector in Hakibaale Sub County, “NAADS has supported people sensitising them in modernising agriculture. Since 2010, we have supported farmers with seeds and improved breeds,” Said Mr. Tumusiime James.

“Between 2010-2011, we supported 500 farmers with 52 million shillings to buy improved seeds and animal breeds. Between 2011 – 2012, NAADS supported 110 farmers with 26 million shillings to buy improved seeds and animal breeds and between 2012 – 2013, we supported 16 farmers with 26 million shillings to buy improved seeds and animal breeds.” Said Tusiime James.

The 2 hour weekly radio discussion held every Sunday (08 – 10pm) focuses on discussing issues of accountability for improved service delivery. Listeners are encouraged to participate through call-ins, SMS and posting their comments on the Listeners Forum Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Listeners-Forum/357878987649611?ref=br_tf

Local citizens advocate for pro-people policies in parliament

Local citizens in the Rwenzori region have appealed to their members of parliament to focus on making pro-people policies and laws aimed at strengthening the priority sectors like agriculture, health, roads, water and education among others. The appeal was made on the ‘Orukurato’ radio discussions on Hits FM, Fort Portal. The 2 hour weekly radio discussion on accountability was held on 27th July, 2013.

“There is increased poverty especially in the rural areas because of poor legislation and oversight by members of parliament” Said Hon. Businge Prosper, the District Councillor South Division Fort Portal Municipality. Hon. Businge adds, “They (MPs) have abandoned their primary roles of legislature, oversight and lobbying to concentrate on burials and fundraisings.”

Uganda Parliament
Hon. Businge also appealed to the local citizens to desist from exerting too much financial pressures on their MPs to ensure that they have appropriate time and resources to legislate appropriate pro-people laws and policies which will get local citizens out of poverty without being compromised by the executive with bribes. “Local people are also forcing MPs to make mistakes because of exerting too much financial pressures on them.” Said Hon. Businge Prosper.

The radio discussion which is supported by ToroDev in partnership with HITS FM was also attended by Byabazaire John (a local citizen). Listeners also participated in the discussions through call-ins and SMS for 30 minutes. The topic for the discussion was, “Parliament in proper accountability for its electorates. Are MPs still on track?”

Byabazaire appealed to the MPs to focus on developing the agricultural sector to effectively improve the livelihoods of the majority citizens who are engaged in the sector, “What do our MPs discuss? Agricultural sector is the biggest economic activity in the country but gets less funding. All our demonstration farms like Rubona and Kyembogo have died out due to poor policies and limited funding.” Said Byabazaire John.

“Our MPs should give priority to the development of the agricultural sector through increased budgetary allocations and better policies and laws so that unemployment rates especially among the youth are considerably reduced.” Adds Byabazaire John.

Local citizens, who participated in the discussions through call-ins and SMS appealed to the MPs to ensure participatory governance, give priority to the key sectors and avoid influence from the executive. “Our MPs are not aware of the issues affecting us because they don’t consult us,” Said Mugisa Moses, a caller from Hakibaale, Kabarole District.

“Our MPs are highly influenced by the executive which affects their performance,” Said Wilson. “Voters are making mistakes by voting people who are not competent and without manifestos highlighting the priority sectors they will work on during their term of office.” Said Edward, a caller from Kabarole District.  

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Uganda government should focus on industrialising the country to reduce poverty

Local citizens and local leaders have appealed to the government to set up better policies and plans which will help industrialise the country so that the incomes of the local citizens can be realised through creation of more employment opportunities and better prices for commodities because of value addition by industries.

The appeal was made during the ‘Orukurato’ radio discussion on Saturday 20th July, 2013 under the topic, ‘Promoting rural industrialisation for improved livelihoods. What are the government plans? What’s the role of the local citizens? The 2 hour weekly live radio discussion held on Hits FM, Fort Portal discussing issues of accountability is supported by ToroDev.

“There is need for value addition to improve the incomes of the rural households” said Johnstone Baguma, the Executive Director while participating in the discussions as a panellist. Baguma however advised the government to boost commodity production, develop good infrastructure in terms of roads and electricity, ensure good leadership and develop better markets for the industrial goods to ensure sustainable industrialisation.

A maize mill
Other panellists who attended the radio discussion are Hon. Prosper Businge, the Kabarole district councillor and Mukwano Senyonjo, the coordinator of Mugusu Advocacy Forum which is a rural advocacy forum initiated by Mugusu Sub County local citizens with support from ToroDev to demand accountability and monitor service delivery.

Hon. Businge Prosper appealed to the local leaders and local citizens to put emphasis on developing tourism and agricultural related industries in the Rwenzori Region to effectively uplift the livelihoods of the rural citizens. Tourism and agriculture are the main economic activities carried out in the Rwenzori region.

“We need agro-based and tourism industries in the Rwenzori Region. We also need good policies which encourage industrialisation and a visionary leadership which offer practical solutions to spur industrialisation.” Said Hon. Prosper.

Mr. Mukwano requested the government to reduce on the administrative expenditures, ensure participatory planning, look for markets and ensure improved information access to ensure rural rapid industrialisation, “there is need to cut administrative expenditures especially in NAADS so that more resources can be allocated to set up agricultural related industries.” Said Mukwano.

Mukwano adds, “there is need for improved government planning involving more local citizens. There is also need for the government to put more emphasis of market access and improved policies to promote information access by the local citizens.”

Local citizens who participated on the discussions through call-ins, SMS and use of online platforms like facebook also appealed to the government to ensure good governance and invest more resources in promoting industrialisation to ensure sustainable development.

“Government should reduce on administrative expenditures and invest more money in setting up industries to reduce poverty. Government also needs to mobilise people for development using the media” Said Edward, a caller from kabarole district. Government needs to invest more in setting up small scale industries.” Said Tusiime James from Bunyangabu, Kabarole District.

“I think de role of de citizens is to demand for proper accountability frm their leaders and also do monitoring on certain devts, like construction of roads, hospitals etc.” Said Musana Wilson on Facebook

Monday 22 July 2013

Train local leaders in governance

Local citizens have appealed to the government and civil society organisations to build the capacities of local leaders in governance to reduce misuse of government resources and ensure efficient and effective delivery of government resources to the local citizens. “There is need to train local leaders in governance to reduce conflicts and ensure quality work” says Maizi Garuhanga from Kyenjojo District.

Local citizens who participated in the discussions through call-ins, SMS and online platforms like facebook also appealed to local leaders to sensitise local citizens in governance and leadership to improve service delivery monitoring, “leaders should sensitise local people on their roles so that people can effectively monitor their services and demand accountability from them.” Says Justus from Kabarole District.

Kyenjojo Town Council
The appeal was made on Better FM, Fort Portal on the Listeners Forum radio program held on Sunday 21st July, 2013 (08:00 – 10:00pm) discussing issues of leadership and service delivery in Kyenjojo Town Council. The discussion which was attended by Kyenjojo Town Council leaders who included the Mayor Mr. Twaha Twine Musa, the deputy mayor Madam Ruhweza Aida, the speaker Mr. Worugaba Laurent Isingoma and the interim secretary for works Madam Kisembo Henrata.

The Mayor advised local leaders to work as a team to improve service delivery in their local communities. The town council is currently facing a stalemate because of failure to approve the budgets for service delivery by councillors due to misuse of public funds by top leaders.

The councillors accuse the top leadership of the town council which includes the Mayor, Speaker and Secretaries for failing to allow the council and the district leadership discuss the internal audit report which highlights the misuse of funds meant for the construction of Kajara Road and Taxi Park.

The speaker advised the local leaders to avoid discussing petty issues which are divisive and affect service delivery. The Town Council Speaker also appealed to the local leaders to rather focus on implementing their manifestos to ensure improved livelihoods for the local citizens.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Local citizens advocate for improved agricultural sector funding

Local citizens in the Rwenzori Region, Western Uganda have appealed to the Uganda government to give priority to the agricultural sector while making national budgets so as to reduce poverty especially in the rural areas. The appeal was made by local citizens while participating in a discussion on Hits FM radio titled, "Analysing government budgets in improving the livelihoods of the local citizens. Are the current government budgets giving priority to key sectors?"

“The government has not done enough to reduce high unemployment rates through increased budget allocation to the agricultural sector” Said Araali Wilson from Kisomoro Sub County in Kabarole District.

The panellists for the ToroDev supported radio discussion held on 13th July 2013 were Hon. Nyakaana Richard (Kabarole District Councillor), Mr. Akugizibwe Solomon (ToroDev Staff) and Benjamin Kennedy (Local Citizen). Listeners participated through call-ins and SMS.

Uganda Finance Minister reading the 2013/14 budget
While reacting to the recently read 2013/14 Uganda National Budget, Hon. Nyakaana appealed to the government to increase allocation to the agricultural sector since it employs over 80% of the population. The agricultural sector in Uganda is always allocated less than 4% of the National Budget. Hon. Nyakaana also appealed to the government to invest more in setting up agro-processing industries in the rural areas to improve value for agricultural products so as to reduce poverty.

Mr. Benjamin appealed to the government to set up irrigation schemes and also encourage local citizens to use fertilizers to enable improved production. Benjamin also appealed to the government to improve financing of the agricultural sector to atleast 10% so as to improve food security and reduce poverty especially in the rural areas.

Mr. Solomon Akugizibwe appealed to the government to increase investments in sectors which facilitate the development of the agricultural sector through improved access to markets, value addition and knowledge on modern agriculture such as ICT’s, roads and electricity.

Akugizibwe also appealed to the government to reduce taxes on fuel because they undermine government poverty alleviation efforts because they increase the cost of local citizens doing business especially in the agricultural sector. Taxes on fuel increases the transportation of agricultural products to market centres and also increase on the cost of transporting agricultural inputs like seeds and machines.

The 2 hour weekly live radio discussion supported by ToroDev in partnership with Hits FM focuses on improving accountability for improved service delivery. The radio discussion which is moderated by Mr. William Gonza is always held on Saturdays (08:00 – 10:00pm).

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Citizens demand for more accountability

Local Citizens in the Rwenzori Region have appealed to the local leaders to strengthen their accountability mechanisms to ensure improved service delivery. The local citizens made the call during discussions on the ‘Listeners Forum’ radio talkshow on Better FM on Sunday, 7th July 2013 under the theme, “Improving service delivery in Uganda; A case of Rwenzori Region.” Local citizens participated in the radio discussion through call-ins and SMS.

“Kyenjojo leaders should give accountability to ensure better services,” said Alero a caller from Kyenjojo District. “ToroDev should put in more effort to ensure that leaders give accountability. Our leaders in Hakibaale don’t give use accountability,” said Mugisa Moses a caller from Hakibaale Sub County, Kabarole District. “What is worsening service delivery is long stay in leadership without proper accountability systems,” said Baluku Israel from Kasese. “Before working on roads, put the information on notice boards,” said Latif Magunga from Mugusu Sub County, Kabarole District

The Listener's Forum Facebook Page
ToroDev staff, Solomon Akugizibwe who participated on the radio discussions to sensitise local citizens on service delivery and accountability appealed to the local citizens to organise themselves into rural advocacy forums to effectively monitor service delivery and participate in planning and budgeting processes.

Akugizibwe also highlighted the factors affecting service delivery as corruption, huge administrative expenditure by the government, limited participation of the local citizens in planning and budgeting processes among others.

During the two hour live radio discussion on accountability, ToroDev staff also appealed to the government through the electoral commission to strengthen their civic education programmes so that local citizens’ can be aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Akugizibwe also appealed to the local leaders to ensure improved access to information by the local citizens through making the Bills of Quantities (BOQs) public and other government information related to budgeting and planning. Public access to information will ease government work since local citizens will effectively participate in monitoring government projects. When local citizens are aware, they will also effectively participate in government planning, budgeting and decision making.

Citizens analyze governance in Uganda

Local citizens and local leaders have appealed to the government to ensure the rule of law and participatory governance so that improved service delivery can be realized. The discussions were held on Hits FM, Fort Portal on Saturday 6th July, 2013.

“I thank the government for allowing free and fair election. However, I appeal to the government technocrats to follow and defend the constitution when implementing policies.” Said Mugisa Herbert the chairman LCIII South division in Fort Portal Municipality, Kabarole District.

Mugisa added, “Policies should be effectively made in the different fields through increased citizen participation so as to yield good results in the end.” The South Division Chairperson also appealed to leaders who want to become political leaders to first resign their civil service jobs to ensure transparency and fairness in implementing government policies in civil service. This follows discussions on the appointment of former Army Commander, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima as Internal Affairs Minister who the president says should be minister without resigning from the army which is against the constitution.

L-R: Rwaheru Gilbert and Mugisa Herbert
The ‘Orukurato’ talkshow which is supported by ToroDev in partnership with Hits FM and discusses issues of accountability also hosted Rwaheru Gilbert, the Chairman of Kicwamba Forum for Development and Service Delivery which is a rural advocacy forum whose initiation was supported by ToroDev. The forum operates in Kicwamba Sub County, Kabarole District and aims at ensuring accountability for improved service delivery.

During the discussions on governance in the two hour programme, Rwaheru appealed for strong punishments for corrupt officials to deter people from swindling public resources “Corruption issues should be handled well. If a person is found guilty, he or she should pay back all the funds that person embezzled from the government instead of being sentenced to jail and the embezzled funds not returned.” Said Rwaheru Gilbert.

During the discussions, local citizens were also able to participate through call-ins and SMS, “Sectors like the judiciary, health, education, security, roads, among others should be well developed so that they can stand on their own without relying on the donor funds for people to realise better service delivery.” Said Kisembo Richard from Rugombe Town Council in Bugaaki Sub County, Kyenjojo District.

“I do very much appreciate the LCIII for coming on radio to give us that useful information and all we need to know is that the government has tried to follow the constitution and the freedom of democracy has been emphasized and I do appreciate the government of Uganda for that.”  Said James Baguma, a caller from Busoro Sub County.

“More research should be done before any issue related to the government is aired out on radio, so that the Government doesn’t fight the talk shows, facts should be got from different sources and   people should be given true and clear information.” Said Balinda Joseph caller from Fort Portal.

“I strongly agree that the constitution of Uganda should be changed into all local languages so that everyone can understand it”   Said Namanaya James a caller from Fort-Portal

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Kabarole District Chairperson gives accountability on HITS radio.

The Kabarole District Chairperson, Mr Rwabuhinga Richard was hosted on ToroDev supported accountability live talkshow called ‘Orukurato’ on 29th June 2013 to give accountability for the just ended financial year (July 2012 – June 2013). During the accountability discussions, Mr. Rwabuhinga highlighted the key achievements in the priority sectors of education, health, agriculture support through NAADS and roads among others. 

Richard Rwabuhinga
In the road sector the achievements highlighted by the district chairperson included construction of bridges to improve market access for the mainly agricultural areas of Kabarole District. The bridges constructed are Busoro – Kasoro Bridge, Dura Bridge, Wasawanabyo - Katebwa Bridge among others.  Still, in the road sector, a road to the district headquarters will be tarmacked in the financial year. 

In the education and sports sector, the achievements highlighted by the chairperson are awarding a contract for the construction of Buhinga playground in Fort Portal. Others are giving desks to Bwabya primary school, Rwenkuba Primary school, Nyansozi Primary school, St. Kizito Primary school, Kahungabunyonyi Primary School. New buildings/classroom blocks were constructed at Kasura Primary School, Kitonzi Primary School, Kyantambara Primary School, Kibito Secondary School.

The district chairperson also indicated that the E–Centre has been successfully transferred to the new Kitumba District headquarters. The E-Centre was previously based at the old district headquarters in Booma and has been instrumental in improving information flow between the district leaders and the local citizens through the district website.  The E-Centre is also used to empower unemployed youth in ICT skills.

In the agricultural sector, the district chairperson noted that NAADS seeds, animal breeds, agricultural production machinery and other support needed to improve agricultural development have been provided in every Sub County in Kabarole District for instance bicycles were given to the village Chairpersons to improve proper monitoring of NAADS activities at the village level.

However, the district chairperson also noted a number of major challenges which affected the proper delivery of government services at the district which included limited financial allocation to the district from the central government and poor planning at both the local and central government levels.

The 2 hour radio talkshow which encourages leaders to give accountability to the local citizens was moderated by Gonza William. Listeners participate in the discussions through call-ins and SMS. Local citizen’s discussions on online social media platforms on Ushahidi, facebook and twitter are also always captured and discussed on the live talkshows.

Monday 1 July 2013

Poor information access affecting service delivery in Ntoroko District

The Sub County Speaker, Bweramule Sub County, Hon. Muntu Willy has appealed to the concerned government authorities to ensure improved access to public information to local leaders and local citizens especially at the Sub County and District levels to ensure quality service delivery in Ntoroko District.

While discussing the state of service delivery in Ntoroko district on Better FM on Sunday, 30th June 2013 (08:00 – 10:00pm), Hon. Muntu indicated that access to information especially Bills of Quantities (BOQ’s) will assist local citizens and local leaders effectively monitor service delivery.

Ntoroko leaders on the radio discussion
Other panellists on the radio discussion were Hon. Mugume Emmanuel Kabona (Councillor Bweramule Sub County) and Mugisa Kasiim (Deputy Speaker Bweramule Sub County). The accountability radio discussion which is held every Sunday (08:00-10pm) is supported by ToroDev in partnership with Better FM.

Hon. Kabona highlighted the challenges facing the district as floods, water scarcity which has had a severe effect on schools in the district especially Bweramule and Rwamabaale primary schools. Kobona also highlighted problems of health workers not attending to patients especially at Bweramule Health Centre III and lack of enough classrooms in schools to accommodate the increasing number of students.

Hon. Kasiim appealed to the technical workers to desist from frustrating the efforts of the district political leaders aimed at improving service delivery. Hon. Kasiiim said that the resolutions discussed and passed in both the Sub County and district councils to improve the performance of the priority sectors like education, roads, water, NAADS, etc are not implemented by the technical staff.

The Bweramule Sub County Speaker, Hon. Muntu appreciated the support of ToroDev and Better FM in offering a platform through radio discussions to enable local citizens demand accountability and local leaders to also give accountability for improved service delivery. Muntu says, that as a result of ToroDev supported radio discussions, local citizens in Ntoroko District are now increasingly participating in governance through continuous engagement with their local leaders and monitoring service delivery.

Listeners of the live radio discussions who participated through call-ins, SMS and comments on the listener’s forum Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Listeners-Forum/357878987649611?fref=ts) appealed to the local leaders to give accountability for improved service delivery. 

Mugisa Nyakisenyi who called from Butangara Sub County, Ntoroko district said that all areas in Rwenzori Region are facing the same service delivery problems because of leaders not giving accountability. Kaziba Jophes who called from Karugutu appealed to local leaders to construct a bridge on river Wasa.  Pascal Kisembo who called from Rwangara said that local leaders do not fulfil their promises made during the campaigns.