Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Uganda, like many countries in Sub Saharan Africa continues to lag behind in poverty reduction, good governance and service delivery. This to some varying degree can be attributed to dysfunctional state institutions and departments. These have and continue to be scarred with corruption, poor financial management and governance challenges, which consequently decapitate their ability to ensure effective and efficient service delivery to the masses. It is a fair assessment that corruption and mismanagement as an obstacle to good service delivery in Uganda is condoned by the inaction and lethargy of the oversight authority-Parliament. Every year it appropriates funds to these entities to further their goals and objectives. The auditor general audits and reports back the manner in which these funds were used or misused. It is therefore incumbent upon accountability committees of parliament to report back to the house in a period of six months after the OAG lays the audited reports, as provided for in the National Audit Act, 2008.
However, parliament has not always delivered on this obligation in time. The fact that there is backlog on reports of accountability committees that spans over five years is telling reminder. Some reports from accountability committees are tabled in Parliament but take years before they are adopted. This fatally disintegrates the audit cycle.
Improved service delivery is citizen’s desire to have a clear knowledge on how public funds were used in relation to provision of services. To reflect on this fact, Toro Development Network organized a two days 2nd annual reflection conference on public accountability for improved service delivery in the Rwenzori sub-region on 19th-20th November 2015 at St. Josephs Inn-Virika, Fort portal. The conference was attended by approximately 80 people among which were media practitioners under their umbrella network (Rwenzori Journalists Forum), leaders of Citizen’s Advocacy Forums, Civil Society leaders and staffs, District Information Officers, leaders of District-NGO Forums, both political and technical leaders from the seven districts in the Rwenzori region.
Rev.Fr.Dr. Kabura presenting during the conference
Among other things that were discussed in the conference were; the current electioneering process: what are the key concerns of public service delivery to influence elections outcome in the region. This was presented by Rev.Fr.Dr. Kabura Pascal who gave the History of Uganda and called upon people to stop blaming each other and appreciate our current life. He further pointed out that the 10 points programs excited people but instead, dreams have been shattered, promises repeated and failed to be fulfilled. In his conclusion he asked people to read Luke 19:41-44. The other issue discussed was ICT4 democracy in East Africa: How it works promotes democracy and human rights.
Ashnah discussing ICT4Democracy
This was presented by Ashnah Kalemera from CIPESA who encouraged people to use the available social media platforms like face book, blog reporting among others to hold leaders accountable. Report on the pilot ToroDev’s e-participation model and proposals for future scale up in Uganda and beyond, e-participation/ICT model to promote citizen’s democratic engagement with duty bearers/leadership, district LGs and CSOs Forums in the Rwenzori region: what their potential is to improve service delivery, mainstreaming gender issues in public accountability and democratic engagement for improved service delivery where they asked the people to make women a priority in the whatever decision they make, the role of Citizen’s Advocacy Forums in promoting public accountability and service delivery monitoring in the Rwenzori sub-region, the performance, challenges, impact of Citizen’s Advocacy Forums in the Rwenzori sub-region and Sustainability of Citizen’s Advocacy groups as socially and economically viable entities in the Rwenzori sub-region were all discussed in the conference. The conference ended successfully ended with the promise that they are going to according to what was discussed.
The new proposed participation model

Monday, November 9, 2015


RWECO coordinator addressing people

In the Rwenzori region, Violence against children is rampant as manifested in the way children are looked at as household tools for economic empowerment  leading to exploitation, provision of cheap labour in tea estates, and cotton growing and harvesting yet even the little they earn is taken away from them by their guardians or parents whereas those at the border sides of Kasese are exposed to smuggling practices and puts young girls at high risks of acquiring HIV/AIDS, corporal punishments also common in school, use of abusive language ,exposure to pornography in society ,denial of education ,medical care among others making them to look at a future that is so bad and so hopeless .
RWECO members in the meeting
Women’s lack of empowerment is a recipe for violence against children in all its forms leaving the children at the mercy of GOD. The children in the Rwenzori region are often spotted crying on the streets, indulging in doing of activities that are harmful to them making violence the only monster. They have no one to turn to; they have no medical care, they have no one to lean on. The children in the Rwenzori region have no proper guidance, they need information, and they need time and love.
 To give them a helping hand, Rwenzori Consortium for Civic Competence (RWECO) with support from the East African Children Fund (EAFC) has come up with a project “community-led mechanisms to prevent violence against children and adolescents”. The project aims at curb down the vice through a community-led approach through economic empowerment of women, strengthening capacity of school management committees and strengthening the capacity of communities living within the school environment
Mrs. Marget holds out computers to be given to the RWECO executive dirctors
The project will be implemented by the RWECO member organizations of Rwenzori Information Centres Network (RIC-NET), Karambi Action Life Improvement (KALI), Democracy Link- Africa (RIDE-AFRICA), Good Hope Foundation for Rural Development (GHFRD) and Kasese Guide Radio has been brought on board to do all the media activities. As an approach through which RWECO works, an inception meeting was held on 5th Nov. 2015 at Virina Gardens Hotel in Kasese Municipality geared at finding ways on how to implement the project in Kasese district. This pilot project is targeting eight sub-counties of Karambi, Kitholhu, Nyakiyumbu, Kisinga, Karusandara, Maliba, Kitswamba and Katwe Kabatooro town council and 16 schools selected from each of these sub-counties in Kasese district.
The project activities were distributed to member organizations and will be carried out by involving children in assessing their own problems and identifying critical issues in their lives which makes a major difference in addressing their problems. RWECO partners will rely on the baseline findings and informal interactions with the children for learning and community participation in form of drama innovativeness and household competitions on the prevention of violence against children. 
Group photo for RWECO members
RIC-NET as a partner organization was given the schools of Kanyatsi, Karambi, Kyabikere and Kamasasa primary schools to operate in, RIDE-AFRICA to operate in Kyanya SDA, Ngaiga, Kistwamba SDA and Ibuga primary school, GHFRD to operate in Kiburara, Karusandara SDA, Kenyange primary school and St. Thereza girls’ secondary school and KALI to operate in Mundongo, St. John’s Bukangara, Katwe and Katwe quarran primary schools whereas Kasese Guide Radio is carry out all the media related works in all its forms.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


As the wind of change sweeps around the Rwenzori region, RIC-NET takes education to another level of conducting lessons online through the LEVEL UP VILLAGE PROJECT which is an initiative of promoting education online. This program started from Kabarole secondary school and its now at St.Charles vocational secondary school-Kasanga. There three classes conducted where each individual class is held once a week that is three classes in a week and 3 Video letters are recorded and sent to the US Partners every week.
 The first class is the doctor’s class (purely Science) is conducted every Fridays, this has 8 Students (Global Partners), the second class is the Mobile Application class conducted every Thursday and comprises of 10 students (Global Partners). This class is majorly conducted online and it’s about development of simple mobile applications, the third class is the Video Game class conducted every Tuesday and it’s mainly about students’ creation of simple animation video games. This class has about 16 students. The classes are so far going on well and the students are gaining a lot from this program. And they hope to gain more knowledge as this program continues running at school.
Students attending the mobile application class
From the time so far covered, some challenges were cited out; the classes have been conducted on time however there is a challenge of internet connectivity in the area since it is rural(Around School) especially during our mobile Application class, the network keeps on fluctuating, the other challenge is that the partners (US Partners) delay in uploading their video letters which the Global Partners (GP Students) are supposed to watch before the next class is conducted to get questions the US students ask the GP Students, on the other hand, it’s quite challenging to get the specimens used in the doctor’s class however much the money for them is always provided.

Generally the classes are so far getting on well . And we hope for the best as we continue to get for more classes from LUV. Here one of the students writes to appreciate RIC-NET for the lessons.
An appreciation letter from one of the students

Monday, October 12, 2015


The director RIC-NET stressing a point during the meeting.

The director of Rwenzori Information Centres Network Mr. Murugahara John Silco together with Miss. Kabugho Robinah on 9th .Oct.2015 met with the BOD of Liberty College of Management and Journalism in Kasese at the college premises to discuss the terms under which RIC-NET was to offer the college radio equipments. This meeting follows an earlier request that was made to RIC-NET by the college management on 20th .August. 2015 asking RIC-NET for support/ partnership towards strengthening their media department for effective information dissemination to communities and skills development among the learners at the training and education centre.
The college premises.
Liberty College of Management and Journalism is a product of Liberty Development Foundation (LIDEFO) established in 2004 as a vocational and professional training centre for the youth and adults from underprivileged backgrounds. The college was started in an effort to meet the demand for service. The college has a population of about 340 students of which 36 students are doing journalism. During the meeting, RIC-NET discussed which it was willing to support Liberty College as follows.
·       The college should show how RIC-NET as an organization is going to benefit.
·       RIC-NET is only willing to offer the equipments on condition that those equipments are going to be college owned not individual owned.
·       RIC-NET asked liberty college BOD members whether what is in between them is going to be a short term partnership or. If no, then the college should draw clear guidelines of how their relationship is going to work with RIC-NET.
·       RIC-NET is only willing to offer equipments if only Liberty College was also willing to be of help to the community members that RIC-NET supports in terms of availing to them skills like hairdressing, computer training among others.
·       RIC-NET is only willing to offer the equipments if Liberty College is willing to observe the conditions onto which RIC-NET have laid down for them to get a radio.
In responding to the conditions that had been put forth by RIC-NET, the BOD of Liberty College said it was;
·       Willing to work closely with RIC-NET
·       Willing to maintain the partnership that is existing between RIC-NET and Liberty College.
A simple radio transmitter Liberty College has been using for students' practicals.
·       Willing to support the community RIC-NET serves in terms of the necessary skills.
·       Willing to let RIC-NET do the managerial role of the radio as Liberty College does the administrative role.
As the meeting came to an end, RIC-NET asked the director Liberty College to come to the offices of RIC-NET to check to available equipments and see whether they would work out for the college.