Communities in Kabarole district are up in arms against Sub County authorities over the closure of three information centers.
Communities in Kabarole district are up in arms against Sub County authorities following the closure of three information centers.
Karambi, Bukuku and Kichwamba centres which were closed last week were set up by Kabarole Information Centre and Kabarole Research and Resource Centre, to help communities access information and acquire computer skills at no cost.
The centers were each equipped with seven computers, newspapers and other literature in the local language. A notice board was also erected at the centres.
However, the centres were closed by the sub county authorities, who also took away the computers. The centers were being housed at the respective sub county headquarters.
Charles Mutegeki, the in-charge of Bukuku information center says that the centre was closed last month on the orders of the Sub County chief. Mutegeki says that he was told to vacate the center within a week but leave the computers there.
Mutegeki says that he tried to find out why it was being closed, but he did not get any response from the sub county authorities. He says that members of the community had got used to the center and that more than twenty people would use the center everyday.
At Karambi information centre, Sam Businge the in-charge says that all the computers were taken by the sub county authorities and they are being used by the staff of the sub county.
David Muhenda, a resident of Karambi trading centre says that the closure of the information centre is a blow to the community. Muhenda notes that the center has been a source of information especially on literature benefiting members of the community, who couldn’t afford costs to study computer.
Muhenda wants the sub county authorities to return the computers and also re-open the centres.
//Cue in: “as people of this community…”
Cue out: “…we really need it back.”//
When contacted, Peter Bagambaki, the deputy Chief Administrative Officer Kabarole said that the information centres were closed by the sub county authorities to create room to accommodate the sub county and parish National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) coordinators.
Bagambaki says that Kabarole Information Centre was told of the closure, but there was no response. He however says that he is not aware that the computers were taken.
But Bernard Isoke, the head of the information unit at Kabarole Information Centre told Uganda Radio Network that the sub counties were each paid 1.8 million shillings as rent for one year.
Isoke says that they reached an agreement with the sub county authorities that the information centres would be housed at the sub county headquarters for a year. He says that the district will be sued for breach of contract and theft of computers.
kabarole research centre