It all started during the 2010/2011 Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government election campaigns when the concerned citizens of Uganda decided to break the jinx of leaders presenting to them their ‘Manifestos’ this time around it was the citizen’s presenting a manifesto to the aspiring candidates. Indeed that did go well to some candidates who did not make it to their desired positions. It came true in Kamwenge district as the LC V chairperson recalled how some leaders were made to account for their time while in positions of leadership “ somebody I will not mention was made to account for his time while we were campaigning in Kahunge sub county, Kamwenge District during the last election”
In Kamwenge it was not business as usual while each of the leaders castigated the corrupt leaders who do not mind the needs of the people. “why do you preach to the people of Kamwenge anti-corruption while your MP from Kasese stood in court and accepted to have misused the Constituency Development Fund” Deputy RDC-Kamwenge asked the Director of KALI. The Deputy RDC was responding to the Top Ten CM national Priorities during the leaders training workshop in Kamwenge. The participants at the training realized that the CM agenda was a tool to help the leaders deliver on their manifestos as long as they involved the grassroots citizens in the planning and budgeting processes.
The leaders of Kamwenge who participated in the training were prepared to take on the CM agenda to the local lower governments. In the 09 action points that included: Taking the CM agenda to the citizens, Planting of Coffee as a cash crop, planting of Trees to avert the looming deforestation and developing a frame work of the Local governments to work with Civil Society Organization, the Deputy RDC Kamwenge, finally broke the silence when he said “ You arrange the Neighbourhood assemblies on Saturday (s) and invite me, I will be there to talk to the citizens, I know the citizens have issues on the Naads, UPE and USE but they don’t talk because you leaders to go them” that action was welcomed by all the participants and Kahunge subcounty shall host the very first peoples parliament in Kamwenge.
Its upon these actions that leaders shall realize the need to localize government flagship programs as opposed to the top-down planning that is on agenda in most lower local government because of the limited resources.
RWECO shall continue to support citizens driven action to bridge the gap between the elected leaders and the ‘bataka’. It was all smiles when the participants realized that the Citizen’s manifesto was facilitating them in their mobilization of the citizens on defining each ones role and place of action. That was after one of the participants Hon. Justine from Kicheche had asked why the Local Government Staff continue to call councilor unskilled and not technical on matters of project work.
The CEWIT Coordinator Mr. James Mwirima, gave the participants hope that they were the employers of the LG staff and therefore ought to give tasks to the technical staff and reminded the leaders of the LG Act (1997) which ably spells out the roles of the Councilors and the technical staff. He further reminded the house that before approving any budget, the technical staff should give the small details before hand otherwise if they approved a budget, that was money approved and shall be spent.
Kamwenge leaders were informed by the LCV Chairperson Mr. Kamashamba that the district had identified coffee to be promoted as a cash crop in the district and challenged the leaders to be the role models, “ while making my field trips, I will begin by visiting homes of the leaders of that particular sub county that would ensure that my colleagues are not only talking the walk but walking the talk”
I therefore invite well-wishers to join RWECO, KALI, and RICNET on 24th May, 2012 at Kahunge Primary School to witness yet another peoples parliament that shall be graced by the RDC-Kamwenge.