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."