Residents Want Local Leaders Assessed

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In short
Residents in Kabarole district want mid-term assessment of elected leaders for purposes of improving service delivery. During the monthly Baraza meeting held on Tuesday, the residents of Kichwamba and Harugongo sub counties argued that whenever the leaders are elected they abandon them, dont address issues affecting them and only return after five years looking for more votes votes.

Residents in Kabarole district want mid-term assessment of elected leaders for purposes of improving service delivery.

During the monthly Baraza meeting held on Tuesday, the residents of Kichwamba and Harugongo sub counties argued that whenever the leaders are elected they abandon them, don't address issues affecting them and only return after five years looking for more votes votes.

The Barazas are forums intended to empower the community to demand accountability from local leaders and public servants. They were initiated by government in 2009 to give an opportunity to citizens to interface with the leaders, with an aim of improving service delivery.
 
The residents argue that the assessment should be carried out during the mid-term to gauge the performance of their leaders.

Mark Mwesige, a resident of Kisenyi village in Harugongo Sub County says that councillors and Local Council 3 Chairpersons have stopped monitoring government programmes, aimed at improving service delivery. He explains none of the leaders has bothered to address the water shortage in the sub county.

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Violet Asiimwe, a resident of Harugongo, says individual assessment of leaders makes them accountable to the electorate. She also says that it is an opportunity for the leaders to know what is good and bad for the residents.
 
Three years ago, the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment-ACODE, started an assessment known as the local council score card initiative in more than 50 districts with the aim of assessing performance of lower local governments. However ACODE's assessment targets only district councillors.
 
Dr. Arthur Bainomugisha, the Executive Director ACODE, supports the demands of the residents. He explains that the assessment will improve service delivery and hold the leaders accountable to the people who voted them into office. 

Bainomugisha, however, says that residents should know the mandate of the elected leaders.

Some leaders have expressed mixed reactions to the calls for assessment. 

John Kyaligonza, the LC3 Chairperson Kabonero Sub County, says that the criteria of assessment should first be known to the leaders. He explains that the electorate may assess leaders based on the number of burials and parties they have attended instead of focusing on the mandate of the elected leaders.
 
Charles Businge, the LC3 Chairperson Kichwamba Sub County, says that although assessment is a good idea, sometimes they face challenges to deliver services and monitor government projects due to inadequate facilitation.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.