Wednesday 4 December 2013

Launching of Katebwa Advocacy Forum

On 22nd November 2013, the local citizens of Katebwa Sub County in Kabarole District launched their forum called Katebwa Advocacy Forum. The forum is community’s own initiated meant to sustainably monitor and advocate for improved service delivery and demand accountability from the local leaders. The forum was formed by the rural monitors who were trained by ToroDev and is expected to act as a bridge between the rural grass root communities and the local leadership using the available ICT tools like FM radios, mobile phone and online social media tools like Ushahidi for improved service delivery in the region. “The forum’s major focus is to promote accountability and transparency in our Sub County and this will help local leaders to deliver quality services to the local community”, said Muhindo Ezra, the Chair Person of Katebwa Advocacy Forum.

Muhindo Ezra talks to the local citizens during the launching
During the launching, ToroDev’s Research and Communications Officer Akugizibwe Solomon appealed to the local citizens to always monitor their services. “Ugandans are suffering poor services yet they pay a lot of taxes levied on goods, leaders who are holders  of the electorates money have turned into diverting the money to their personal gains, it is your role as a local citizen to ensure that your leader uses your money effectively”.

Meanwhile, the LC III of Katebwa Sub County Mr. Byokufa Mustafa thanked ToroDev for empowering local CBOs (Community Based Organizations) to promote accountability. “I thank ToroDev for supporting CBOs in my village, this has given me a plat form as a leader to present what I have done for my people, and also face criticisms that will enable me to put things right and effectively deliver services to my people”.

Surprisingly, a meeting which targeted youth and women registered little attendance for the youth because they are not always the preferred choice of the general community to participate in decision making processes/meetings. According to Tusiime Francis, a journalist with a local FM radio station based in Kabarole District, "The youths are not always invited in such community meetings because the community doesn't respect them and hence doesn't respect their decisions."

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Impeachment of Lord Mayor Rukwago? Lessons for Ugandans?

On 1st December 2013, panelists appeared on HITS FM to discuss the impeachment of the Lord Mayor of Kampala Capital City Authority Mr. Lukwago, and the lessons leant by the local people from this action. “On the day of the meeting to vote Hon. Lukwago out of office, court sent an interim order stopping the election but the councilors went ahead and conducted the exercise. 
However, the voting was null and void because the law does not recognize it and Mr. Lukwago is still the mayor of Kampala Capital City Authority”. Said Lawyer Musana, an advocate of the High Court. 

The live radio discussion was also attended by Mr. Solomon Akugizibwe, a local citizen and also Media & Communications Officer at ToroDev and Mr. Godfrey Nyakahuma, the Chairperson of the National Resistance Movement, Kabarole District.

Lord Mayor Elias Lukwago (R) takes oath on 20th May 2011

“If a leader is to be impeached, right procedures should be followed in good faith and with honest.  The Lord Mayor shouldn’t have been mistreated, he shouldn’t have been stopped from coming to the tribunal to defend himself, and his lawyers shouldn’t have also been blocked from submitting the interim order. The impeachment shows the struggle between the poor and the rich and the denial of democracy of the marginalized group of people”, said Solomon Akugizibwe.

However, Hon Godfrey Nyakana showed his dissatisfaction over his collogues’ discussions. “The local people have misunderstood the Lord Mayor’s impeachment. If Hon Lukwago wants to be an activist, he should move from the council because better issues like those of delivering services to the people are the council's priority than opposing the government”. 

Mr. Nyakana went ahead to indicate the poor image of the opposition. “The opposition has a long term program that is sponsored by outside countries, that’s why they want to cause uprisings like those that took place in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, among other countries. The opposition also uses an agenda of seeing dead bodies so as to win credit and that’s why they try at all levels to influence chaos”.

Local listeners also participated in the live radio discussion through call ins. “How can 29(twenty nine) councilors impeach somebody who was elected by millions of local citizens to represent them?”, said Poson from Karambi Sub County, Kabarole District, “If court has not proved Lukwago guilty, how can the government decide to impeach him?”, said Andrew from Fort Portal, “Government should not say that the opposition is causing chaos, it’s the denial of people’s rights that is causing tear gas on streets of Kampala. Even those leaders who defend government faults are being bribed by the government and are the same leaders who have done nothing for their people”, said Emmanuel from Fort Portal.

The 2hr (two hour) live radio discussion was moderated by Kasigazi Willy Donanto.