Friday 25 November 2016

ToroDev mobilizes CSO’s to participate in the district budget conference

ToroDev in partnership with Kyenjojo NGO’s/CBO’s forum mobilized CSO’s in Kyenjojo district to prepare for a joint communiqué on what CSO’s have done, their commitments in the coming year(s) and also have physical participation to lobby for improved service delivery in different sectors including; education, health, agriculture, road sector, water sector, etc during the district budget conference.

The one day budget conference took place on 23rd November, 2016 at Kyenjojo district headquarters and was attended by over 120 people who included; politicians, civil society representatives, technical staff, journalists, opinion leaders and other concerned citizens from the district. For the first time in the history of the district, 12 civil society representatives attended the conference compared to only 4 who attended the 2014 budget conference to lobby & advocate for proper budgeting for the citizens in the communities they have operations & district as a whole.

While giving her opening remarks during the budget conference the deputy chief administrative office Enid Kajumba thanked CSO’s for supporting government work and in particular Kyenjonjo district because they have been active in many interventions which have lead to improved service delivery to some level. The deputy CAO in a special way thanked ToroDev for the support towards reviving the functionality of the district e-society center which she said has helped many departments and district officials to access relevant information something that has saved time because one needed to move from one office to the other to get what s/he wanted. 

Participants during the budget conference in Kyenjojo
‘’Access to information has increased as a district and now anyone who needs information concerning the district can just search and get it, we thank ToroDev for supporting this initiative and really showing that you promote advocacy through the use of ICT’’, said Enid Kajumba the deputy chief administrative officer Kyenjojo.

‘’As heads of departments present what is planned to be done in their line departments for the year 2017/2018, it describes the district annual income and expenditures that will be implemented effective 1st July, 2017 and this enables the district to have a balanced budget in every sector’’, said Mr. Businge Charles the district planner Kyenjojo during the conference.

All the 9 heads of departments presented their proposed budgets before the district council and other people in attendance which reflected improving the road sector, water sector, constructing latrines & classroom blocks in schools, improving on the quantity, timely & quality supply of farm inputs, monitoring functionality of health centers and also improving access to information where radios will be used to inform citizens what has been done, what is planned to be done and the challenges encountered in the implementation of these activities and also monitoring sub counties to pin information on notice boards for public access.

A head of department making a presentation during the conference
The chairperson Kyenjojo NGO’s/CBO’s forum Donald Katalihwa while presenting the role of NGO’s & making the CSO’s communiqué during the conference showed it that CSO’s have done recommendable work in the district in the areas of Education, health, agriculture, human rights, etc and the impact is felt on ground, quoting examples of what CSO’s have been involved in like; mobilizing communities to participate in development initiatives, sensitizing people on the value of education, good health, supporting engagements for improved & increased service delivery, supporting the functionality of e-society to increase access to information, induction of school management committees (SMC’s) & parents teachers association (PTA’s), organizing CSO’s & district to jointly plan together & budget together under the CSO’s-district forum meetings initiated by ToroDev in 2015, etc. Donald however, identified some challenges that still exist and which need team work for example, the district has not fully involved CSO’s in monitoring government programs, some people still solicited money from patients in government health facilities, high school dropout & early marriages affecting education, under staffing in health centers schools, absenteeism especially in sub counties, schools & health centers which retards service delivery, late supply of farm inputs affecting agriculture, etc. On the CSO’s commitments for 2017/2018 in the district, Donald outlined closing the communication gap between local government & CSO’s, increasing inspections in schools, health centers and sub county offices, together with the district education department to strengthen management committees on environment, schools, health & implement ordinances/by-laws, create market linkages and control farm inputs to reduce poverty in communities, interalia.

Donald Katalihwa making a presentation on behalf of CSO's in the district
The district chairperson Mr. Kaija William in his closing remarks said, ‘failing to plan is planning to fail’. The chairperson commended CSO’s for the recommendable work and services given to the people of Kyenjojo and called for team work in all stages of service delivery that include; planning, budgeting, implementation & monitoring of all government programs.

Mr. Kaija requested the technical team to use the available resources to improve services delivery in the district and that as leaders together with other development partners they are ready to lobby for more funds in the district to improve service delivery and urged sub counties to be relevant in doing their work by opening their offices on all official days of work, share information of what they have received and how it has been spent by pinning it on notice boards & using radios to inform citizens and emphasized that if we hide information to those who need it we tolerate corruption. 

The district chairperson Mr. Kaija William giving his closing remarks during the budget conference
 The chairperson said, when sub counties plan and implement well we succeed as a district because we rely on sub counties to reach services to communities which improves the lifestyle for the people in these communities. He promised to start his monitoring tour on the performance of sub counties effective January, 2017 to rectify the anomalies reported as of now for improved service delivery.

We are grateful to all our development partners SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA for the financial and technical support that make us reach these communities.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Kyenjojo district boss pledges to work with organized groups to improve livelihoods.

The Kyenjojo district boss Mr. Kaija William has called upon women and youth to form groups such that they can benefit from government programs because money for improving projects in communities is allocated to organized group. The youth livelihood program which is on-going in the district and women fund which is yet to start will benefit people who are organized in groups to help them increase their incomes at house hold level.

Mr. Kaija was speaking live in the studios of KRC Fm during ‘Manya Omwebembezi Wawe’ program that is sponsored by Torodev. The program is aired live every Wednesday 8:00pm- 10:00pm and moderated by Mr. Kaahwa Kansengerwa.

Mr. Kaija William the district Chairperson Kyenjojo
While sharing his 5 years work plan (2016-2021) for the people of Kyenjojo district Mr. Kaija  pledged to connect the town councils of Kyenjojo, Katooke & Butunduzi with safe and clean water , monitoring and helping youth and women to access funds, lobby for timely, quality & quantity seeds from operation wealth creation, improve the condition of roads that include; Butiiti-Kihoko, Bufunjo-Biganda-Kyakasura, Mirongo-Kyenjojo-Rwaitengya roads, etc, improve the education standards by constructing office blocks, more classrooms, latrines & desks in schools where there are gaps, monitor sub county offices & health centre to make sure that workers are available in these offices on a daily basis so that people do not fail to access what they want to get due to absenteeism of these workers. He called upon all partners in the development to work as a team in planning, budgeting, implementation & accounting together for the betterment of the district.

However we have challenges like the health ambulance is non-operational, district grader is non-functional & the funds we receive from central government is never enough t allow us work on the projects as planned. We shall continue lobbying the private sector and all development partners working in the district to intervene in some of these service delivery issues for improved/ quality service delivery.

During the two hours live discussion the Kyenjojo district Information Officer Mr. Kamara John urged people to follow proper procedures in order to access information which will help them to engage their leaders and also demand accountability from them. The information officer asked citizens to use all public offices, heads of departments, public notice boards & meetings that are always conducted at different local government levels to access information.

Callers participated during the live discussion by calling inn& sending Sms; ‘’The chairman should consider the education sector seriously because most of our UPE schools infrastructure is a very big challenge as we talk, let him construct more classroom blocks for our children to have a good environment to study from’’, said Mr. Bagonza a caller from Mirongo in Kyenjojo district, ‘’our roads are bad and the murrum they are using on spot roads is slippery especially when it rains, let the chairman intervene and caution the contractors to get us some good murrum for our roads’’, said Patrick Mwesige a caller from Bugaki sub county in Kyenjojo district. 

We thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other  development partners for the financial and technical support in running these programs live on air.

ToroDev held a meeting with advocacy forums to Strengthen their Institutional Capacity in demanding & Advocating for Improved Service Delivery

 As a way of strengthening the institutional capacity of 21 advocacy forums leaders in demanding & advocating for improved service delivery using different platforms, ToroDev on 1st November, 2016 organized a one day meeting that brought  all the leaders of the 21 advocacy  forums together to encourage each other,  share their experience and achievement for 2016 and also to plan early for 2017.

Forty (40) participants from 21 forums attended the meeting, journalists under Rwenzori Journalist Forum also attended to strengthen the network.

 During the meetings ideas were shared among the forum  leaders on how best the forums can be sustained with or without the support from ToroDev.

I encourage you to keep chasing the goal of your forum, keep on building on the objective as to why you initiated the forums, this can be done with or without the support of ToroDev , I encourage you to use platforms like radio talkshows and rural debates to continue engaging leaders to give accountability and kindly continue monitoring services in health, education and other sectors and inform leaders of the gaps discovered”. Said Sheila Amanya M&E ToroDev

Sheila Amanya M&E ToroDev addressing the forum leaders during the meeting.

  “I appreciate ToroDev for all that the organization has done to strengthen the work of advocacy forums meetings, trainings and workshops organized by ToroDev and I have gained a lot of skills and experience, As  a leader  of Katebwa Forum, I know the work  we are doing is voluntary so I encourage everyone to keep active and achieve every goal  set by the forum” Said Muhindo Ezra the leader of Kaatebwa Forum

 “With or without facilitation from ToroDev , our work  to defend the rights of people in our communities has to go on,  I encourage the leaders to have simple businesses that can sustain the forums’ work”. Said Jane Ahaisibwe, Butiiti people’s forum

We need to continue networking amongst ourselves members, we need to keep sharing information, document issues discovered on facebook and engage leaders in serious radio debates so that we can keep speaking for our people”. Said Monday Wilson Nkoma forum

We have platforms where we can still be very active that is the radio talk shows lets use them seriously to engage every leader that is hosted from our area and let’s not give up on achieving and chasing for our objectives”. Said Mukwano Senyonjo, Mugusu Forum. 

Participants recommended that;
i.            There is need to organize more rural radio debates to enhance women’ and youth’ participation especially in districts like Ntoroko, Kyegegwa and Kamwenge.“Since the rural debates are targeting women, more should be held at least twice a month”. Said Mokonyenzi Winfred the moderator of Orukurato on 105.6 Jubilee radio.

ii.            The local leadership has appreciated the role played by advocacy forums this shows that we need to work harder and sustain the activities of the forums, we can start requesting for membership fee from members just as a way to sustain the forum”. Said Andrew Tumwesigye, the leader of Bufunjo People’s Forum, Kyenjojo District, during the panel discussion on the performance of advocacy forums in the region.

iii.            “CSO’s-District local governments’ forums are important avenues for sharing and planning together, so we need to attend such meetings whenever they are organized by ToroDev” Sheila Amanya ToroDev.

We thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM & CIPESA for the support that keep the work of advocacy forums vibrant in Rwenzori sub region.

Friday 18 November 2016

We need to improve the quality of our exports to compete at world market as a country

The Burahya County Member of Parliament Hon. Margret Mugisa Muhanga has called for a collective responsibility especially by the duty bearers to monitor & supervise government programs /projects. Margret said unless we become responsible to play our roles right as leaders, economic development may still be a dream for our country especially as we work to attain the middle income status by 2020.

Hon. Margret Mugisa Muhanga  said these when she was co- hosted together with Hon. Alex Ruhunda the Fort portal municipality Member of Parliament on ToroDev supported ‘Orukurato’ program that is aired live every Saturday 8:00pm-10:00pm on HITS Fm a local radio station in Fort Portal. The two members of parliament were responding to issues raised by local citizens from the previous talk shows on HITS Fm especially on the challenges of Operation Wealth Creation, a government  program that replaced NAADS to fight poverty & increase income at household level.
 ‘’Uganda is one of the countries exporting tea at the East African market but it is of very poor quality compared to other countries even our neighbours Rwanda, where Uganda’s kilogram of tea costs less than $3 compared to $ 5 for Rwanda at the East African market’’, said Hon. Margret  Mugisa Muhanga. She urged farmers and other stakeholders to ensure quality of tea right from plucking to packaging if our farmers and Uganda as a country are to benefit from cash crop production.
Burahya Couunty Member of Parliament Hon. Margret Mugisa Muhanga
She promised to lobby government to support farmers with fertilizers and other farm inputs in order to raise the quality of our tea to the world market and that this will increase farmers’ income at house hold level & also improve the country’s economic development. Hon. Margret Said that we have other sectors that can help to raise our economy  such as Tourism  where we need to modernize our hotels, build canopies for birding, advocate for industrialization such that the unemployment syndrome especially our youth can be checked to create jobs for the people of this country.

During the 2 hours discussion Hon. Alex Ruhunda said, Operation wealth creation is not a bad program but acknowledged luck of supervision, lack of institutional leadership, etc he said it is true farmers receive seeds late and in small quantities and sometimes without information from the people delivering the supplies something he promised to discuss in parliament so that the program can serve it’s intended goal.

Hon. Alex Ruhunda Member of Parliament Fort Portal Municipality
Hon. Alex said Uganda has many well designed programs but the problem comes during implementation which brings about misuse of resources because few benefit hence hindering economic development because much is invested in the hands of few individuals. Hon Alex pledged to advance issues to do with mechanization of agriculture, industrialization, attracting more investors, improving the road net work, etc such that people can get jobs and those already in agriculture be helped on how best they can have value addition for their produce in order to compete with other countries and also develop the country’s economy.

 For such programs to continue running on air we recognize the commitments of SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all our partners in development for the financial and technical support.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

ToroDev held 2 days induction of Ntoroko district councilors.

As part of the post-election agenda 2016, ToroDev on 10th & 11th November, 2016 held an induction of district councilors from Ntoroko district in Rwenzori sub region. The induction was aimed at strengthening the capacity of councilors in the district to effectively play their role of representation and legislation aimed at improving priority service delivery in the Rwenzori sub-region within the next 5 years. The induction was reached after holding several engagements & consultative meetings with the district speaker & clerk to councils to ascertain the gaps faced by councilors while playing their legislative roles.
Mr. Orono Francis a facilitator from LGCG during the training
The 2 days induction was attended by 24 district councilors from the 6 sub counties & 4 town councils in the district. The topics covered included; Decentralization, council rules of procedure, roles of councilors, the role of ICT in improving service delivery, local government planning & budgeting, conflict management, legal drafting, ordinance/bye laws formulation, communication skills, lobbying & advocacy and development & management of PPP. The induction was facilitated by Mr. Orono Francis & Mr. Birungi Norman from Local Government Consulting Group (LGCG) a consultancy firm which is an arm of Uganda Local Government Association (ULGA). It is expected that the induction would encourage female councilors to actively participate during council proceedings from 20% to at least 70% in two years after the training.

Participants listening to the presentation during the induction in Ntoroko district
‘’I thank ToroDev for thinking about about us because since we were elected, we have never had such an induction and really it has come at the right time when we needed it. I call upon Honorable members to take keen interest to acquire the skills because given the concept & topics shown they are much more relevant to our work, I also urge you to disseminate information to the citizens using the available ICT tools like radios, phones, social media platforms like facebook, twitter, whatsapp to give and receive information from citizens’’, said Hon. Muthahinga Ben, the district vice chairperson & councilor representing Karugutu sub county.

The district vice chairperson Mr. Muthahinga Ben opening the 2 days induction at Kibuuku district council hall

  ‘’It has been a habit of male councilors to dominate women & youth councilors while debating on service delivery issues during council sessions, something we want to see changing in the near future, we hope the induction will motivate many women & youth leaders to effectively lobby for the development of their areas given the skills & knowledge imparted in them’’, said David Kugonza Documentation & Communications officer, ToroDev.

As an organization after the induction, there are changes we need to see that include; councilors especially youth & female capable and regularly using online platforms to communicate, access government information like budget releases  & lobbying for their communities from 20% to 70% in 1-3 years, improved councilors’ knowledge, skills and understanding of local government processes, council proceedings etc from 40% to at least 70% in 1-3 years, we want to see well streamlined council roles and responsibilities, well aligned with Uganda’s National Development Plan II and Vision 2040, we want to see councilors with expertise in financial & budget analysis kills, lobbying & advocacy who provide political direction, financial planning, and management, and exercise their legislative  or policy making authority appropriately, councilors capable of engaging citizens in identifying their priority service delivery needs and giving feedback on how such expressed needs have been reflected in sub-county, district and national planning & budgeting processes, improved Lobbying   and advocacy skills on service delivery programs, increased capacity & linkage of youth & women councilors debating on service delivery issues & policy decisions affecting their communities from 45% to at least 75% in 1-3 years, increased number of women councilors participating and actively debating in council sessions/proceedings without leaving male councilors to dominate council meetings from 20% to at least 40% in 1-3 years, improved  local councils’ capacity to conduct council business, improving performance and service delivery.

‘’Iam grate to ToroDev for such a wonderful training, being a former district speaker I actually thought I knew much but I have come to realize that I have been missing a lot especially on planning & budgeting, having a right to debate in my local language something that has been hindering many councilors especially female to debate, formulation of ordinances & bye laws, etc. We have many problems as councilors but when we get such capacity building trainings, we also change in the way we have been doing things, iam sure even those who have not been active during council proceedings will now be very active because we had the best ever training & facilitator’’, said Jane Kemigisa woman councilor representing Bweramule sub county & Kibuuku town council.

Some of the participants after the 2 days induction training

We thank a lot our development partners SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA and Ntoroko district local government for the financial, technical & cooperation to improve service delivery in communities.

Ntoroko Woman Member of Parliament urged leaders to avail citizens with information if service delivery is to be improved

Ntoroko district Woman Member of Parliament Hon. Anna Tumusiime has called upon local leaders to avail information to the public so that people can get to know what is being done and what is planned to be done. This will help citizens engage with their leaders on service delivery issues hence development of our communities.
While speaking during ‘Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe’ program on KRC Fm Hon. Anna urged local leaders to use available avenues to inform citizens for example consultative meetings, council meetings, pinning information on notice boards especially on the releases of funds & sector allocations, use of Fm radios to give accountability  & also other social media platforms like twitter, facebook & whatsapp that disseminate information.

Hon. Anna TumusiimeWoman M.P Ntoroko district
‘’ Am lobbying the ministry of health & government on the issue of having enough drugs in the district, recruitment of doctors, construction of health centre 111 in every sub county as it is a government policy  so that we can reduce distances walked by patients to access health services especially women, I have talked to the ministry to include Ntoroko on KAYIPU 3 ( a program that help local governments to construct roads) to improve on the road network especially Kakara road & the project will start in 2018, have worked on the first phase of survey for the extension of safe & clean water to our people’’, said Hon. Anna Tumusiime, women member of parliament Ntoroko district. Hon. Anna called for team work & cooperation from all partners in development as we join hands to improve the state of service delivery in Ntoroko district.

 ‘Manya Ekiragiro Kyawe’ is a weekly program sponsored by ToroDev and is aired live every Wednesday 8:00pm-10:00pm on KRC Fm a local radio station in Fort Portal.

The 2 hours live radio discussion had the participation of Mr. Baguma Johnstone Kumaraki the executive director ToroDev who said that as an organization, we are trying much to work with the leaders to inform citizens of their plans so that citizens can be informed of what their leaders have done or plan to do in a given period of time. Mr. Baguma said when leaders inform citizens of the development programs/projects from their communities, citizens get to know about how sectors such as health, education & others are working. He further said, Leaders have a responsibility of informing citizens on their interventions and this increases citizen’s participation in government programs hence improving on supervision of what projects/programs are implemented or are planned to be implemented.

During the two hours live  discussion, listeners participated through call –inns & Sms;  ‘’Our roads are impassable especially during rainy season I request Hon. Anna to take these as priority’’, said Tusime Daniel  a caller from Rwebisengo in Ntoroko district, ‘’ We request the member of parliament to direct us to her office in Ntoroko or get one with in her constituency so that we can bring and collect information’’, said Monday from Rwebisengo, ‘’it is good practice for leaders to come back on ground after being elected to inform people of the on-going development projects in the constituency & country’’, said Margeret Kiboha a caller from Bweramule in Ntoroko district.

We take this opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial and technical support to run these programs.

Monday 14 November 2016

Rwenzori Rural & Urban development organization advocates for justice

 On 24/10/2016 a team from Rwenzori Rural & Urban Development Organization (RUDO-Uganda) visited Nyarukamba Primary School to monitor the state of service school and to identify the challenges the school experience and how the school management has managed to address such challenges.
During our visit it was observed that a primary six girl dropped out of school as a result of getting pregnant, to us this was a big surprise and blow, this forced us to organize another meeting with the girl (Mbambu Jessica) , the School Management Committee, PTA Chairpersons  and the parents to understand what really happened and as a forum how can we help to identify the man who defiled the girl”.  Said Kule Vincent the leader of the forum

 Vincent added we went ahead and held a meeting with the head teacher Mr. Tibakunirwa John and this is what he said, ‘’I learnt of Jessica our pupil being pregnant first from her friends at school and I thought these were just rumors, but I went ahead and sent for Jessica to know what is wrong with her but she denied being pregnant, so I took her words and her confession.

The head teacher  added I held several talks with Jessica but she has never accepted that she was pregnant, so I took a step to go ahead and invite a medical personnel to the school to conduct a pregnancy test on her, that day she ran out of the school and went home . I was surprised one day when police officers   came to our school to arrest our teacher Mr. Bakwirison Moris for a defilement case and making Jessica pregnant as the main suspect, but the teacher denied everything and he was not arrested.

As a school with the help of the forum we went ahead to meet Jessica’s father who told us that her daughter was pregnant and the main suspect is Mr. Moris Bakwirison the teacher at school, different family members of the girl got concerned and called for the meeting with the suspect for negotiations at his home.  
The teacher was engaged in the meeting but he denied all the allegations and called for DNA test which he accepted to pay for. The family failed to handle the case and sought for support and help from police, when the police came to arrest the teacher he had already escaped from school and from his home.” Said Jessica’s relative.
I don’t know the real father of the kid am carrying because I first slept with Mr. Bakwirison Moris ( teacher) but later I also had sex with Baluku Jeremiah the son of Musa Isembugheki & Kayikubulha a game ranger but am sure the pregnancy is for the teacher”, Said Mbambu Jessica.

As forum members we are still following this case, we have alerted the police, NGOS, DEO , LCIII of the area, media and we request for support from anyone to go ahead and carry the DNA test to know who is the father of the baby, so that action can be taken, however Jessica  needs to undergo Counseling and HIV/AIDS test, antenatal care, health and nutrition support, she needs to  be counseled to go  back to school after giving birth”. Said Vincent Kule the leader of RUDO Forum.

We are grateful to all the development partners for the support.  

Thursday 3 November 2016

Kicwamba residents petition the district chairperson over a gravity flow scheme

Citizens of Kicwamba Sub County in Kabarole district through their local leaders and Kicwamba forum for development and service delivery advocacy, a community group that was initiated by ToroDev petitioned the district leadership on the rehabilitation of Kicwamba gravity flow scheme.
Residents especially those from Bwanika village have for over a year been just looking at the pipes passing through their land and to some villages like Kihondo water has been off for over two weeks.

Citizens wanted to know from the county water engineer what funds worth 31 million shillings that was released by the district leadership in July 2016 meant for the rehabilitation of the gravity flow scheme was used for because they had take weeks without water flowing to their villages yet funds for doing the work was released.

Rehabilitation work going on at the gravity flow scheme in Kicwamba
Residents sought assistance from the local council 111 chairperson (sub county level) and also Kicwamba sub county district councilor who invited the district chairperson to visit the site and look at the work done compared to the amount they paid for it.

Kicwamba gravity flow scheme that is under rehabilitation
The district chairperson visited the citizens in Kicwamba sub county in September 2016 and indeed concluded that the engineer working on the rehabilitation of the gravity flow scheme had mismanaged the funds meant for the water source.

Above: District council touring the site Below: District chairperson (yellow shirt & hut) with other district officials resting after treking the hills to the gravity scheme

The district chairperson Mr. Rwabuhinga Richard ordered the county water engineer to work and complete the rehabilitation of the scheme within two weeks such that residents of the affected areas can access safe and clean water. The district water engineer was requested to supervise the work done at the scheme. ‘’We are grateful to the district chairperson for hearing our cry and coming done to check what we were complaining about, as we talk now there is good work being done and some people are now accessing safe and clean water even those in Bwanika village who used to see pipes passing through their land now have been connected to the scheme’’, said Mr. Rwaheru Gilbert the coordinator of Kicwamba forum for development and service delivery advocacy.

We thank all the development partners who support us to improve service delivery for our people.

Tuesday 1 November 2016

How access to information is linked to accountability and development

ToroDev Executive director Mr. Johnstone Baguma Kumaraki  while appearing on ‘’Manya ekiragiro kyawe’’ program on KRC Fm said it is vital for citizens to access information from all relevant government institutions such that even when citizens are demanding accountability from their elected leaders they do so from an informed point of view. Johnstone added that this helps citizens understand what has been going on and also engaging their leaders. Leaders with a habit of telling lies check themselves before coming on air or releasing any information to the public because they are aware that citizens are already informed hence need to package their information well.

’Manya ekiragiro Kyawe’’ program is supported by ToroDev and it is aired live every Wednesday 8:00pm-10:00pm on KRC Fm. During the live radio discussion, the district information officer Kabarole Mr. Ainganiza Stephen said, article 41 of Uganda’s constitution gives citizens a right to access information they want from any public institution every as long as it does not bring conflicts and instabilities in community and the purpose should be developmental, the article empowers citizens to take part in decision making and to demand for accountability. Government institutions and officials should give information to the public through pinning it on notice boards, on-line, publications and any other means so that people know the on-going engagements. This will develop our communities and also make leaders accountable.

                                                   Access to information is a right

 The two hours live discussion was joined by listeners through call-ins, face book, twitter and sms platforms;  “How can I know that the information they have given me is true when I don’t know the source, we need to also look for information such that when engaging leaders we are very well informed’’, said Amanyire John Kasweta a caller from Hakibale in Kabarole district, ‘’we still have a problem where our people don’t know the power of information, we need to empower them to access information despite the shortcomings of education levels, etc’’,  said Hon Muntu K. Willy from Ntoroko district,  ‘’the  constitution should be translated  into local languages so that people can be able to  read and understand the law that govern the country’’, said Omugurusi Kisembo a caller from Kanyambeho in Kabarole district.

 We take great opportunity to thank SIDA, NED, SPIDER, ICT4DEM, CIPESA & all other development partners for the financial & technical support in running these programs.