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CSOs form Ankole community parliament to hold MPs accountable

Members in the meeting joined hands to support the formation of Ankole community parliament. (Photo by Bob Aine)

MBARARA- In a bid to increase service delivery to the grass root civil society organizations together with members of the public have formed a community parliament aiming at holding their members of parliament and other leaders accountable.

This was during the meeting that was held at Mbarara Dairy Farmers Association building in Mbarara town where all civil society organizations in Ankole.

The meeting was organized by African Leadership Institute to launch the parliamentary performance and civic engagement project.

Gerald Welikhe Wanzara, the head of civic engagement and research at African Leadership Institute argued that for parliament to function well they should be held accountable for citizen’s aspirations.

Wanzara said that this year’s March a report released by Twaweza Uganda showing that only 22% of Ugandans have trust in their members of parliament.

Gerald Welikhe, the head of civic engagement and research at African Leadership Institute speaking during the meeting as his colleagues look on. (Photo by Bob Aine)

“The trust between public and their members of parliament has deteriorated and we believe that as people have a role in making Mps do their role better, this community parliament will embolden the citizens to demand for accountability and responsiveness from their leaders,” noted Welikhe.

He further noted that what has made parliament a failed institution is that members there have played party roles than considering their electorates which he said has brought hopelessness among the masses due to lack of citizen’s voice, massive corruption, poor service delivery and usurping powers of the people which has surrendered them to other power centers.

He said that the Ankole community parliament will be scheduling periodic meetings monthly.

He added that they are developing an ICT application named MobiParliament aiming at revolutionalising communication between parliament and citizens so that they are able to raise their issues where MPs will be tasked to respond to those particular issues.

Members of the public seated in the meeting. (Photo by Bob Aine)

“Mps should embrace this technology because citizens will be sending messages  containing pertinent issues  at a free cost to their Mps, we have scheduled a workshop with all Mps to introduce this application to them so as they keep interacting with their electorates to improve service delivery because we lack proper channels of engagement,” said Welikhe.

He added that the apparently the country is at crossroads and time bomb which any time will explode, he adds that they cannot sit and watch blatant abuse of human rights.

While closing the meeting, Balaam Ndyaguma the speaker Mbarara district commended the idea but asked those who will spearhead it not to use it for other motives but rather those to which is intended to address. He noted that it should yield results and be able to awaken the public.

 

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