On 16th February 2014, forum leaders appeared on Better FM to assess the exchange visit to Women of Uganda Network(WOUGNET), Transparency International (TI) and Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC) supported projects in the districts of Apac, Lira, Oyam and Gulu that was aimed at ensuring ToroDev staff and partners have a deep understanding and context of how local citizens in Northern Uganda are engaging their leaders for improved service delivery.
This was during the ‘Listeners Forum’ a 2hour weekly radio program that discusses issues of accountability every Sunday (08:00-10:00pm) that is sponsored by ToroDev. The live radio discussion was attended by Mr. Amos Karuhanga the Chairperson of Ntoroko Citizens Concern Group in Ntoroko District, Mr. Tibeha JohnBosco, the secretary of Bufunjo People’s Forum in Bufunjo Sub County, Kyenjojo District and Mr. Mukwano Ssenyonjo, the Chairperson of Peoples Rights and Forum for Development in Mugusu Sub County, Kabarole District.
During the program, Mr. Mukwano indicated how the local leaders in Northern Uganda are devoted to serving their people. “We were able to meet different local and political leaders at Sub County level. During my interaction with these leaders, I realized that they are patriotic and not corrupt when delivering services and that’s why Northern Uganda has better infrastructures like schools, sub county administration blocks, roads, among others”.
Mr. Amos also participated in the live radio discussion by discussing how the local leaders in Northern Uganda work hand in hand with the local citizens to realize better service delivery. “Local leaders include local citizens in governance by delivering people’s priority needs and also picking their issues and concerns. Amach Health Center IV had only 12 instead of 42 staffs who were not enough to serve the big population. Local leaders combined efforts with the local citizens and more staffs were recruited to the health center”.
Meanwhile, Mr. John Bosco indicated how leaders in Northern Uganda plan for fewer projects that can be exhausted by the available funds so that effective work is done. “Leaders in Northern Uganda use the allocated funds on fewer projects so that standard work is realized on a particular project, instead of planning for many projects and substandard work is done as it is here in Western Uganda. This is the reason why Northern Uganda has better infrasture like schools”.
Local listeners also participated in the Live radio discussion through call ins to raise their issues and concerns. “As councilors, we don’t have enough funds, the sub county has nine parishes which makes it hard to deliver better services”, said Mwesige James, Councilor Bufunjo Sub county, “The central government allocates little funds which has affected proper service delivery”, said Mugisa Moses from Hakibaale Sub County, “How can a local citizen demand for better services yet local leaders are nowhere to be seen”, asked Noble Matahi from Bweramule Sub County in Ntoroko District.
The Live radio discussion was moderated by Mr. Mukonyezi Wilfred.