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.
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
|Ashnah discussing ICT4Democracy|
|The new proposed participation model|